Author Topic: Geogate - is geology a skyscraper built upon the sand?  (Read 26221 times)

electrobleme

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Geogate - is geology a skyscraper built upon the sand?
« on: January 11, 2010, 16:06:30 »
Geogate -  geology is built up layer upon layer - what if the wrong foundations were built?

Geology is built up on the ideas and theories that have been thought up / worked out / discovered before. New Geology ideas/theories are written/investigated/interpreted with respect to the previous and older ideaas/knowledge. What if the original ideas are wrong? There are a lot of changes of geology theories/facts but are all the spin-off ideas also changed? Once you have to many levels of ideas can you change all of the previous ideas to reflect corrections or errors?

Example

Original Idea = 1
Spin off ideas = 1a 1b 1c ...
more spin off ideas = 1a1 1a2 1c1 1c3 ...
next level = 1a2a 1c3d
New investigation/evidence suggests that idea 1a2d is not correct or needs adjustment.

Does this show that 1a2, 1a or 1 is incorrect or needs changing? Do they change all works of the previous levels? Do they continue all the other spin offs as normal with only a slight change to 1a2?

Sir Charles Lyell was one of the founders of modern geology ideas and studies. His ideas/theories are therefore one of the original ideas of Geology, one of the foundations that spin off ideas/theories are based upon.

Quote
Sir Charles Lyell Scottish geologist largely responsible for the general acceptance of the view that all features of the Earth’s surface are produced by physical, chemical, and biological processes through long periods of geological time. The concept was called uniformitarianism (initially set forth by James Hutton). Lyell’s achievements laid the foundations for evolutionary biology as well as for an understanding of the Earth’s development.
Sir Charles Lyell - britannica .com

Perhaps his most famous book was his first book, The Principles of Geology, which he called "An Attempt to Explain the Former Changes of the Earth's Surface by Reference to Causes now in Operation". The basic idea of Sir Charles Lyell was "Uniformitarian" - that in Geology "the present is the key to the past".  Uniformitarianism states and believes that the only forces that have geologically changed the Earth in the past are the forces that we can see in action today.

But Catastrophe's do seem to have affected the Earth and also the Earths climate seems to have undergone many, many changes and reversals. The only thing constant about the Earth is that it is not constant.

Modern Geology may have adapted/changed Lyell's ideas but the basics not just remain they have influenced and created the geological ideas/theories since he first published them. Have all these ideas been changed. Is even this basic idea correct when you consider the huge amout of evidence for multiple Catastrophes and changes to Planet Earth?

Biography of Charles Lyell (From the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, 1910-1911)




more Electric Universe geology sites
gEUlogy.com
gEUlogy.com | articles index
** thunderbolts.info | Planetary Science
** thunderbolts TPOD | Earth Geology
EYE | gEUlogy and EU photographs



« Last Edit: May 22, 2010, 01:23:12 by electrobleme »

electrobleme

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Geogate - articles list/index
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2010, 16:08:55 »
List of Geogate articles/postings

** The Iron catastrophe of Earth - Really? And all geology ideas are based on this happening?

** The structure of the inner Earth and its Core - The Earths Crust in theory and the evidence in fact from Superdeep Boreholes. Does not compute.

** The structure of the inner Earth and its Core - The mantle and deep interior

** The structure of the inner Earth and its Core - the inner and outer Core - Interior of Mercury - Jupiter, its interior and amazing magnetosphere

** Faller at the 1st - First chemical fingerprint of an Exoplanet and "The features observed in the spectrum are not compatible with current theoretical models"

** New rock type on the moon - "does not easily fit with current lunar crustal evolution models"

** Titan - Gravity models suck?


« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 23:37:40 by electrobleme »

electrobleme

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The Iron catastrophe of Earth
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2010, 16:19:39 »
The Iron catastrophe of earth

The Iron catastrophe is stated as an event that happened to Earth. It rarely seems to be mentioned it is not a fact. It is an amazing idea yet people seem to accept it as fact without thinking about what it means.

Watch this History Channel clip from the "Universe" series for an explanation of the Earths Iron catastrophe

The only reason that the Earth has to have a molten iron core is an old idea and is due to our Magnetosphere. In the old days when Geology was starting it was assumed that the Earth and all planets were just a seperate non connected rock in the Solar System and Universe. Therefore, our magnetic field had to be producded by something inside the Earth. Iron.

The Earth, planets and our star appear to be connected, with Flux Transfer Events and Solar Tornadoes as a couple of examples. It could now be considered that the Earths magnetosphere might be produced by something other than a molten iron core. The Earth could be a coil in an Electric Universe.

 The idea of a molten metal core is very strange when you actually think about it logically but the idea for it comes from the ideas of its time (that the Earth was a seperate body in the Solar System). If this "seperate" idea is wrong then is the molten metal core wrong? What else based on these early ideas is also wrong?

The Earths Iron Catastrophe, magnetosphere, our atmosphere, life, basically everything on Earth since the moment of the Iron Catastrophe depends on many theories, none are facts:

The Big Bang
Formation of our Solar System, Sun, asteroids, Earth
The heating or hot Earth after its formation or asteroids hitting the Earth triggering/causing this
Heavy metals on the Earths surface
Planetary differentiation
Chemical differentiation


« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 20:08:25 by electrobleme »

kevin

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Re: Geogate - is geology a skyscraper built upon the sand?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2010, 19:12:10 »
The whole idea of volcanos been from the molten core( where's the iron?)
Volcano's i9mho are local resistance points where huge electrical discharges occur.
Earth quake are the opposite where huge inputs implode into the earth, the resultant ripple outwards is of half of the normal duality that enables created mass to remember what it is, thus areas litterally return to no-thing, I sat through an earth quake observing the picture in My view going to jello, and trying to dowse the flows which almost pulled the rods out of my hands.
how many people actually try and observe such an event?
The earths crust may be nothing but 30 miles thick, then various layers with an anode core to the sun.
kevin

electrobleme

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the earths inner layers/structures and energy release/exchange
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2010, 19:58:26 »
The whole idea of volcanos been from the molten core( where's the iron?)
Volcano's i9mho are local resistance points where huge electrical discharges occur.
Earth quake are the opposite where huge inputs implode into the earth, the resultant ripple outwards is of half of the normal duality that enables created mass to remember what it is, thus areas litterally return to no-thing, I sat through an earth quake observing the picture in My view going to jello, and trying to dowse the flows which almost pulled the rods out of my hands.
how many people actually try and observe such an event?
The earths crust may be nothing but 30 miles thick, then various layers with an anode core to the sun.
kevin

The Earth is connected to the sun in many ways including Flux Transfer Events ("magnetic" portals and 2 types of them!) and Space Tornadoes (both variations of Birkeland Currents?). After an Earthquake or another natural event is there a surge between the Earth/Sun or an increase? If we measured for this and found it out would this prove that it is an Electric Universe as there is no explanation for it in a gravityVerse?

kevin, do you think a plasma discharge at the center of the earth, similar to the Sun? This would explain the "surprising" heat as we get further down, or, is this heat coming from an exchange/resistance in the rock layers or where the rock meets the inner plasma?

kevin

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Re: Geogate - is geology a skyscraper built upon the sand?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2010, 23:26:55 »
I equate all things with a reference to what I detect.
If I describe a typical point, a finite point where the geometry involved begins to create polygons around that point, but the complications are nested and overlapping, multiple smaller points around the central point are created, and every point is unique, but similer as is fingerprints or DNA.

The whole system repeats and though supported on this lattice grid, it provides the basis for fractal flows to follow pathways of least resistance, thus they act under attraction as there is this duality of flows.
I therefore have a sort of blue print embedded in My head from following all of this so carefully.
This leads to thinking out the consequences spherically, with the patterns thus occuring in all directions at once, thus the flows will vortex in/out to all depths .
Every single finite point in this geometry produces a dominant cross feature, it occurs due to the fibonacci sequencing that concentrates into a tighter arrangement of the lattice  thus the flows upon entering into each and every point concentrate into this cross feature, but also circulate around all of the polygons and flow off each polygon .
The cross is in fact in simplicity merely two lines crossing, not four, so in that simplistic way imagine a flow travelling towards the centre point, it either flows straight through or goes left or right.
but it is not that simple, each point has multiple lines with individual flows along them.
these flows vary and reverse, all relative in particuler to where the sun/moon are, but all the other planets and stars are involved.
thus the whole system litterally fluxs relative to positionings of all other planets etc.

If You can think that out and position yourself as an observer at any point on any of the planets and stars, them imagine the resistance encountered by the flows relative to the geometry they encounter with the variables of flow strengths relative to the resistance they encounter with all the other planets add infirnitum.

it's mind blowing, but simple.
I isolate  and compare back to the blue print, it's a little like having a map.

If you then think of the sun as a huge resistance to the free flow of galactic flows in all directions at once but with this dominant cross feature where a main flow direction is encountered by the sun.
The earth is a by product of the geometry of the sun, it is geometrically positioned, as is all the other planets, their moons then been geometrically positined about them.
The surges will occur in a cyclic manner with multiple points about the spherical surfaqce acting as vortex input and output locations.
The geometry will have mainframe alignments(Giza /hawaii)
That geometry will extend both inwards and outwards into and around the planet, the giza pyramid will be built to mirror that geometry, the pinacle( missing0 point of the pyramid been a vortex meeting point.
kevin























electrobleme

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The Earths inner structure - theory and factual evidence
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2010, 00:39:21 »
The structure of the inner Earth and its Core

Humans knowledge of the Earths structure is interpreted from physical experimental data and theories based upon older theories based upon ideas. The newest theories change and the old theories are updated or abandoned but not every single idea/theory from the now wrong/corrected original ideas is changed.

What geologists state is the inner structure of the Earth comes mainly from siesmic waves. Our other knowledge of the crust is from what we can see or drill down to and there have only been a few superdeep boreholes drilled into the Earths continental and oceanic crust. The 2 main superdeep boreholes, the Russian Kola Superdeep Borehole and the  German KTB, only seemed to prove that our modelling was very wrong. Virtually nothing discovered was predicted and there was many surprises.

A good theory predicts and when your predictions are totally wrong do you modify your old theory to now fit, so your modified geology now "works" or do you accept the facts that the Earth is telling you and look for a new theory?

Geology is based on foundations of successive layers of knowledge/theories, each one usually built upon the last ones. If the original ideas/theories are proved to be wrong then does this have a multiplier effect?


Quote
Earth structure | The Oxford Companion to the Earth

The interior of the Earth is inaccessible: all that we know about it has had to be deduced from our knowledge of the rocks accessible to us and from the shape and physical properties of the Earth as a whole, and from the results of geophysical and geochemical experiment.

Our desire to understand the Earth goes far back into history, to the Hebrews, the Ancient Greeks, and the Chinese, but our understanding of the internal structure of the Earth really starts with the Victorian physicists (e.g. Rayleigh and Rutherford) and then Sir Harold Jeffreys with his classic book The Earth, first published in 1924, who laid the foundations for modern geoscience. With the very rapid advances in equipment, and particularly in computer technology, our knowledge of the details of the fine structure and workings of the Earth's interior has improved greatly since the 1980s.

The Earth is, in the broadest sense, a series of concentric spherical shells, each shell having distinct physical or chemical properties. The outermost, and thinnest, shell is the crust. Then, descending into the interior, the next shell is the mantle, which extends to a depth of 2891 km. This is subdivided into two: the upper mantle and the lower mantle. Finally at the centre of the Earth is the core. This also is subdivided into two: the outer core and, the innermost sphere, the inner core.
Earth structure | The Oxford Companion to the Earth | 2000 | Paul Hancock and Brian Skinner


The Earths Crust

Quote
The crust |  The Oxford Companion to the Earth

The rocks exposed at the surface of the Earth are part of the crust. The crust is a thin layer of silica-rich rocks which have been derived from the underlying mantle by melting and subsequent metamorphic or erosional processes, or, in places, both.

...Models of ‘crustal growth rate’ (which are based on isotopic ratios) indicate that the continental crust formed gradually through much of the Archaean with an increased growth rate in the late Archaean, since when there has been a gradual increase. Over 70 per cent of the present surficial area of the continents was formed more than 450 Ma ago. The continual processes of erosion and deposition of sediments mean that a good deal of ‘recycling’ takes place in crustal rocks...

..In contrast to the continental crust, the oceanic crust is young, thin, and chemically magnesium-rich. All the oceanic crust has been formed since the Jurassic, and only fragments of mid-Jurassic crust remain. The average thickness of the oceanic crust is 7 km. Oceanic crust is formed as a result of decompression melting in the mantle at shallow depths beneath the mid-ocean ridges. As a result, the oceanic crust is basaltic and is uniform in composition.

...The uppermost parts of the crust have been sampled directly by drilling. The international Ocean Drilling Program (ODP), a major co-operative programme of drilling in oceanic regions, has provided detailed information on the fine structure of the oceanic crust and has answered many questions about the details of the formation of oceanic regions. On the continents there are just two deep boreholes that penetrate to mid-crustal levels: one in Germany (KTB) and the other on the Kola peninsula in Russia. Despite the scarcity of drill information, a variety of geophysical techniques are used to great advantage to determine the gross overall structure of the continental crust in different tectonic regions, as well as some of its fine structure. Gravity surveys enable models of possible underlying density structures to be established; and as the density of rocks is broadly dependent upon their composition, gravity measurements can be used to infer lithology. Electrical and magnetic surveys enable models of the electrical and magnetic properties of the crust and uppermost mantle to be determined. Mineral composition, porosity, and permeability are additional factors controlling the electrical conductivity and magnetic susceptibility of rocks. However, seismic methods provide the most detailed and unique images of the structure of the crust (both continental and oceanic)...
Earth structure | The Oxford Companion to the Earth | 2000 | Paul Hancock and Brian Skinner

The results of the 2 superdeep boreholes are not mentioned above. Harold Jeffreys, one of the fathers of seismic geology who co-authored the JB tables, seems to have suggested or shown that there was a transition zone below the earths surface. Before the 2 superdeep boreholes were even started the land below the Earth at these points would have had a lot of seismic mapping so geologists knew what was there and so they could plan how to drill deep into the Earth.  The results were unexpected and not just from a rock/mineral point of view.


Russia's Kola Superdeep Borehole

Quote
The World's Deepest Hole | Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks

In 1926, British geophysicist Harold Jeffreys proposed that this transition zone within the crust, identifiable on seismic records around most of the world as a "jump" in seismic velocity, could be attributed to a change in rock type from granite to a denser "basement" of basalt (basalts can be seen at the surface when they emerge as lava flows). For years, this concept has served well as a working hypothesis for earth scientists.

The Kola well has now penetrated about halfway through the crust of the Baltic continental shield, exposing rocks 2.7 billion years old at the bottom (for comparison, the Vishnu schist at the bottom of the Grand Canyon dates to about 2 billion years--the earth itself is about 4.6 billion years old). To scientists, one of the more fascinating findings to emerge from this well is that the change in seismic velocities was not found at a boundary marking Jeffreys' hypothetical transition from granite to basalt; it was at the bottom of a layer of metamorphic rock (rock which has been intensively reworked by heat and pressure) that extended from about 3 to about 6 miles beneath the surface. This rock had been thoroughly fractured and was saturated with water, and free water should not be found at these depths!

This could only mean that water which had originally been a part of the chemical composition of the rock minerals themselves (as contrasted with ground water) had been forced out of the crystals and prevented from rising by an overlying cap of impermeable rock. This has never been observed anywhere else.

In addition to the important bearing that this discovery has on the general geophysical sciences, there is a potential economic impact. This water (variously known as "water of crystallization", "primary" water, or "juvenile" water) which originates as an integral part of the rock crystals is very highly mineralized, and is a primary concentrating agent for most ore deposits.
The World's Deepest Hole | Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Water at these depths was very surprising and zero prediction of it. The Russian Kola Superdeep Borehole also discovered fossils at over 20,000 feet that were not damaged by processes that were predicted to created rock at this depth. How could fossils remain intact at such a depth in the Earths Crust? One idea in an Electric Universe is that the material of the Earth could be basically electrically plated onto the shell of the earth. This may help to explain why the deepest fossils ever found could be there.

** Further DIScussion on the Russian Kola Superdeep Borehole


Germany's KTB superdeep borehole

The other hole drilled into the Earths Crust was the KTB superdeep borehole (Kontinentales Tiefbohrprogramm de Bundesreplik Deutschland or German Continental Deep Drilling Program).  The results found here were even more surprising. Firstly there is much more available data from the superdeep drilling and also it was carried out by Germans so you would expect everything to have been planned and modelled correctly. They also had reviewed the Russians attempt and results.

Quote
Suprises - Some Welcome, Some Not
...At a depth of about 7000 m (22,966 ft) they had expected to drill through the boundary between two tectonic plates that collided 320 millions years ago, forming the Eurasion plate. However, this boundary was never crossed, and the geologists have had to redraw most of the subsurface picture.
Other unexpected results include core and log evidence for a network of conductive pathways through highly resistive rock, and in rock devoid of matric porosity, an ample supply of water.
(page 16) The KTB Borehole - Germany's Superdeep Telescope into the Earth's Crust
Germany's Superdeep Telescope into the Earth's Crust (pdf)

Did they not do any siesmic mapping before hand? Was their model of geology of the area completely wrong? Perhaps the biggest clue that geology may not be correct is the fact that they found water when they expected to find zero water. So, having used a centaury of geology/science and getting it about as wrong as you could would you modify your old model that predict nothing, use that to predict more stuff and spend a lot more money researching, teaching, paying pensions or would you consider that perhaps the foundations of geology were built on sand and not rock? Although your theories had told you that it was rock and not sand.

** There is a lot more DIScussion on the German's KTB superdeep borehole **

** Sir Harold Jeffreys - An Interview












« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 00:48:01 by electrobleme »

electrobleme

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The Earths inner structure - the mantle and deep interior
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2010, 00:51:59 »
The structure of the inner Earth and its Core - The mantle and deep interior

Quote
The controlled-source seismic methods used to determine crustal and shallow mantle structures are not suitable for determining seismic velocities deep within the Earth. Instead, methods utilizing earthquakes as the energy source and networks of seismic recording stations are used to calculate the travel times of seismic waves. These travel times are then used to calculate the variation of seismic velocities with depth in the Earth. Seismic velocities in the mantle are also determined by using the dispersion of surface waves (i.e. the change in the character of the wave with increasing distance, which is due to the fact that waves of different frequency travel with different velocities).

The Earth can also be classified by the way in which heat is transferred through it. The lithospheric plates are the Earth's outermost near-rigid, cool ‘skin’. These are the plates that move about on the Earth's surface and along whose edges much of the seismicity and volcanism occur. Conduction is the main mechanism of heat transfer through the lithosphere. As the plates are about 100 km thick, the lithosphere comprises both the crust and the uppermost part of the mantle. The mantle beneath the lithosphere is hotter and, although behaving as a solid on a short timescale, is able to flow on a geological timescale. This means that convection is the mechanism for heat transfer through the sub-lithospheric mantle. There has been considerable scientific debates as to whether or not the upper and lower mantle convect as two separate systems.
Earth structure | The Oxford Companion to the Earth | 2000 | Paul Hancock and Brian Skinner

The Superdeep boreholes show that the Earth is much hotter the further we go down than predicted. They also show that there is a lot more electricity and natural electrical "circuit" material than we predicted. The Earth is electric. Its atmosphere is hugely electric and everything we seem to discover is either magnetic (therefore electric) or pure electric. The Earth has huge electrical currents flowing through it (Telluric Currents) and Volcanoes/Earthquakes will eventually be discovered as massive electrical events.

The earth is also made up of fine layers and combined with the conductive / semi-conductive alternating nature of these layers could they act as parts in a natural electrical circuit? Either in the macro or micro? For example resistors heat up when electricity flows through them or some electric components/devices convert electricity into heat as part of the process of transforming the energy into another type.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 01:02:16 by electrobleme »

electrobleme

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The Earths inner structure - the inner and outer Core
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2010, 02:15:57 »
The structure of the inner Earth and its Core - the inner and outer Core

Quote
Earth structure | The Oxford Companion to the Earth

The core was discovered by R. D. Oldham in 1906 and was accurately delineated as being at 2900 km depth by Beno Gutenberg in 1912. The core–mantle boundary, or CMB, is also known as the Gutenberg discontinuity. The core is physically and chemically distinct from the mantle. In composition it is predominantly iron with small amounts of other elements. Work on tides enabled Sir Harold Jeffreys to establish in 1926 that the outer core must be fluid. A decade later, in 1936, Inge Lehmann (1888–1993) was able to show that there was a solid inner core at the very centre of the Earth. She did this by using seismic energy from an earthquake in New Zealand that was recorded in Europe after having passed through the centre of the Earth. The outer core–inner core boundary is called the Lehmann discontinuity in her honour...

...The composition of the core is hard to verify: there are no core samples to be studied. Instead we have to rely on ingenuity and analogue. The relative abundances of elements in the Sun and in meteorites indicate that the core should be predominantly iron, and in bulk could approximate to Fe2O with a small proportion of nickel. The seismic velocity and density structure, together with experiments conducted in the laboratory at high pressure and temperature, imply that the inner core may be almost pure iron. The outer core is an iron alloy with about 10 per cent of lighter elements, the most likely candidates being oxygen, sulphur, nickel, and silicon. Experiments have shown that liquid iron and iron alloys react strongly with solid iron and magnesium silicates. The seismic complexity of the CMB can thus be explained in terms of the chemical reactions taking place there. This may be the most chemically active part of the planet.

That the outer core is liquid and the inner core solid is consistent with all seismological observations as well as studies on tides and the Earth's rotation, which both require a liquid core. The liquid outer core is the source of the Earth's magnetic field. It acts as a giant spherical dynamo, in which less dense rising convection currents of liquid iron also carry electric currents. The interaction of these electric currents with the Earth's magnetic field then results in an enhancement of that magnetic field. This is called a self-exciting dynamo, and can occur in the Earth only because the outer core is liquid, convecting, and, being iron-rich, conducts electricity.
Earth structure | The Oxford Companion to the Earth | 2000 | Paul Hancock and Brian Skinner

The inner and out Core of the Earth is worked out by the interpretation of siesmic evidence, what we see in the Sun and Asteroids and because the Earth has a magnetosphere (magnetic field). But the idea that we have an iron core is due to the old idea that the Earth is not connected to the Sun, other planets or the Universe in any way other than gravity. Modern evidence shows that we are connected to the Sun and the Universe electrically/magnetically. So the old idea of the iron core has to change and this means changing the ideas based on it...

This does not just mean the physical structure of Earth having to be modified and all our geological theories but also the other planets. Perhaps also how the Sun was formed, the Solar System, Galaxies, the Universe and then the Big Bang?


Interior of Mercury

If the Earths Core is different to what has been theorised from old models/ideas then what of the other planets in our Solar System? What about other things about them, especially their magnetospheres and how they are produced?

Quote
Most of what is known about the internal structure of Mercury comes from data acquired by the Mariner 10 spacecraft that flew past the planet in 1973 and 1974. Mercury is about a third of the size of Earth, yet its density is comparable to that of Earth. This indicates that Mercury has a large core roughly the size of Earth's moon or about 75% of the planet's radius. The core is likely composed of 60 to 70% iron by mass. Mariner 10's measurements of the planet reveals a dipolar magnetic field possibly produced by a partially molten core. A solid rocky mantle surrounds the core with a thin crust of about 100 kilometers.
The Interior of Mercury - solarviews .com

Quote
A NASA spacecraft gliding over the surface of Mercury has revealed that the planet's atmosphere, the interaction of its surrounding magnetic field with the solar wind, and its geological past display greater levels of activity than scientists first suspected...

"This second Mercury flyby provided a number of new findings," said Sean Solomon, the probe's principal investigator from the Carnegie Institution of Washington. "One of the biggest surprises was how strongly the dynamics of the planet's magnetic field–solar wind interaction changed from what we saw during the first Mercury flyby in January 2008...
Maelstrom of magnetism with Magnetic Mercury and its Magnetic circuits


Jupiter - Planet and Interior

Jupiter is a gas giant yet it has the strongest and largest of the Solar Systems magnetospheres. Jupiters magnetosphere is not caused by an iron core but by other factors. But it does have a core. Allegedly.

Quote
Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system with a radius of over 70 000 km. It rotates most rapidly of all the planets with a period of only 9 h 55 min 29.7 s. It also has the largest magnetic moment (computed as the product of the equatorial surface field and the cube of the planetary radius). Consequently it also has the largest magnetosphere in the solar system, large enough to encompass easily the Sun and the visible corona. If the Jovian magnetosphere were visible from Earth, it would be bigger than the Moon in the night sky. Jupiter is also a powerful emitter of radio waves. Its giant magnetosphere acts both as a trap and an accelerator of energetic charged particles. The most energetic of the trapped electrons radiate at radio frequencies, and it was the radio frequency radiation that led in 1955 to the discovery that Jupiter had a magnetic field (Burke and Franklin, 1955). Jupiter's magnetosphere differs importantly from the Earth's magnetosphere in that its energy is predominantly derived from sources internal to the magnetosphere rather than through its interaction with the solar wind.

Planet and Interior

Jupiter's interior is very different from the interiors of the terrestrial planets and may even have important differences from the interior of Saturn because of its much greater mass. The planet consists mainly of hydrogen and helium. The enormous gravitational force exerted by the planet compresses the helium and hydrogen into the liquid state and converts the hydrogen to an electrically conducting metal at depths below about 0.75 Jovian radii (Rj). It is within this electrically conducting metallic hydrogen fluid that the Jovian dynamo is generated. The energy for the dynamo consists in part of primordial heat from the formation of the planet and in part the release of gravitational energy of denser material, drops of liquid helium, settling to the center of the planet. This process is analogous to the terrestrial dynamo power source, which is believed to be the solidification of the inner core.
JUPITER: MAGNETIC FIELD AND MAGNETOSPHERE - Encyclopedia of Planetary Sciences


jupiters amazing magnetosphere

Quote
Magnetic Field

Even before the first probes to Jupiter much was known about the Jovian magnetic field from radio measurements. The moment was correctly estimated within a factor of two and the 10o tilt of the dipole moment correctly deduced...data revealed a magnetic field rich in multiple harmonics (in comparison to that of the Earth), presumably because the Jovian dynamo source region is closer to the surface of the planet....

 Magnetosphere

The immense size of the Jovian magnetosphere is a result of the combination of three factors: (1) the strength of the planetary magnetic field, (2) the low density of the solar wind at 5.2 AU, and (3) the rapid rotation of the planet...The velocities associated with this process combined with the high mass loss rate from To are sufficient to distort the magnetic field of Jupiter into a disk, or magnetodisk. The centrifugal force associated with this magnetodisk stretches the magnetosphere in all directions and increases the forward radius of the magnetosphere to close to 100 Jovian radii at times. Since a Jovian radius is more than ten Earth radii, the linear dimension of the Jovian magnetosphere is about 100 times that of the Earth and its volume a million times bigger...

...As with other magnetospheres, both intrinsic to the planet and induced by the solar wind interaction, Jupiter has a magnetic tail extending in the antisolar direction. In concert with vast size in the forward direction, the magnetotail is of enormous dimensions in the antisolar direction, stretching (at least) all the way to Saturn's orbit, over 5 AU downstream.

The Jovian magnetosphere is very dynamic. The magnetodisk configuration is much more sensitive to the variations in the solar wind pressure than other magnetospheres, and thus the magnetosphere is constantly in motion. ...Thus the emission of radio waves is not constant but varies with time...
JUPITER: MAGNETIC FIELD AND MAGNETOSPHERE - Encyclopedia of Planetary Sciences

Note that before 1955 no standard theory had predicted Jupiter having a magentosphere. After all it is just a Gas Giant and you need an iron core to create a magnetosphere. That is why the earth has one. So all models/ideas based on the theory that produce "Jupiter =  no magnetosphere" had to be and where changed, including all the ideas/theories that were built on ....





kevin

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Re: Geogate - is geology a skyscraper built upon the sand?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2010, 12:25:27 »
If You can think spherically , then wherever You are within the geometry that creates the whole sphere will have zones of specific geometry.
Zome tools help to better visualise this, youtube 2,3,5 infiniy)
At specific geometry concentrations , and at cyclic surge time , the resistance will lead to huge temperatures that turn the rock molten.
The molten will thus adapt to the geometry it is transmuted into.
it may not show fully when magma is attracted to it's opposite electrical zone because it is still molten when it travels through other geometric zones.
The solidified results will thus mirror the geometries in their crystaline structures.
Thus specific rocks will have been sought out to perform a specific interaction with the flows that make all.
The rocks been location specific, thus interaction specific.
ALL is ONE, it transmutes into mass in 3D, but 3 D is merely one of many dimensions in the self same area, all of the periodic elements are made from the primal base, and three d is merely baked by phi and pi.
hydrogen and oxygen will therefor occur in geometry.
The whole of universe is ONE solid, far far denser than diamond, when you see lightening it is coursing about in the geometry, influenced by the consequences of the local geometry
It's brilliant, fabulous.
Kevin

electrobleme

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“The features observed ... are not compatible with current theoretical models”


Image of the HR 8799 system. In the center, the host star HR 8799. Further investigation shows that three of the specks surrounding the star are planets (marked): Starting at 11 o'clock, clockwise: HR 8799b, HR8799c and HR8799d. The other specks and patterns are artefacts, which are unavoidable in a challenging observation like this one – star and planets are extremely close, and the star is a few thousand times brighter than the planets. The distance from the star to HR 8799c corresponds to 38 times the average Earth-Sun distance. (image and captio from 'First Direct “Chemical Fingerprint” of an Exoplanet orbiting a Sun-Like Star' | Max Planck Institute for Astronomy)


A good theory predicts. The first chemical fingerprint or composition of an Exoplanet (planet orbiting another Star) has been made. Due the distances/technology/methods involved the Exoplanets being discovered at the moment are Gas Giants. We have Gas Giants and Gas planets in our Solar System so we know their chemical fingerprint. According to scientists/astronomers we know how the Universe started (right back to fraction of a second before the Big Bang) and how planets are formed. Basing models on this knowledge we then should be able to  predicted, to some degree, what chemical fingerprint Gas Giant planets will have and how they are formed.

"More immediately, the results pose something of a challenge to current models of the exoplanet's atmosphere. “The features observed in the spectrum are not compatible with current theoretical models,” explains MPIA's Wolfgang Brandner, a co-author of the study. “We need to take into account a more detailed description of the atmospheric dust clouds, or accept that the atmosphere has a different chemical composition than previously assumed."

So will all the models that came before how these Giant Gas Exoplanets now be reconsidered? Including the Big Bang? Or will scientists/astronomers update one or two and carry on with these modified planet forming theories. That will be much closer for the next planetary fingerprints taken and then they can say. "as predicted by our models" this proves ...

When you read in years to come how they predicted stuff remember the falller at the first and how the models were totally wrong. A good theory predicts.


Quote
First chemical fingerprint of an Exoplanet orbiting a Sun-like Star

Astronomers have obtained the first direct spectrum – a “chemical fingerprint” – of a planet orbiting a distant, Sun-like star, providing direct data about the composition of the planet's atmosphere. An international team of researchers studied the planetary system around HR 8799 a bright, young star with 1.5 times the mass of our Sun, and focused on one of three planets orbiting the star. While the results were unusual and pose a challenge to current models of the exoplanet's atmosphere, the accomplishment represents a milestone in the search for life elsewhere in the Universe.

The planetary system resembles a scaled-up version of our own Solar System and includes three giant planets, which had been detected in 2008 in another study. “Our target was the middle planet of the three," said team member and PhD student Carolina Bergfors, from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, (MPIA), "which is roughly ten times more massive than Jupiter and has a temperature of about 800 degrees Celsius,”

The researchers recorded the spectrum using the NACO instrument ion the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile.

As the host star is several thousand times brighter than the planet, and the two are very close, obtaining such a spectrum is an immense feat.

“It's like trying to see what a candle is made of, by observing it next to a blinding 300 Watt lamp – from a distance of 2 kilometres [1.3 miles],” said Markus Janson of the University of Toronto, lead author of the paper.

Bergfors added, “It took more than five hours of exposure time, but we were able to tease out the planet's spectrum from the host star's much brighter light.”

However, the spectra of the exoplanet's atmosphere shows a clear deviation between the observed spectral shape and what is predicted by the current standard models. “The features observed in the spectrum are not compatible with current theoretical models,” said MPIA's Wolfgang Brandner, a co-author of the study.

The models assume chemical equilibrium between the different chemical elements present in the atmosphere, and a continuous temperature profile (hotter layers below colder layers). At longer wavelengths (above 4 micrometres), the planet is significantly fainter than expected, which points to molecular absorption in its atmosphere. The simplest explanation is that the atmosphere contains less methane and more carbon monoxide than previously assumed.

“We need to take into account a more detailed description of the atmospheric dust clouds, or accept that the atmosphere has a different chemical composition than previously assumed,” Brandner said.

In time, the astronomers hope that this technique will help them gain a better understanding of how planets form. Next, they hope to record the spectra of the two other giant planets orbiting HR 8799 – which would represent the first time that astronomers would be able to compare the spectra of three exoplanets that form part of one and the same system. As a much more distant goal, the technique will allow astronomers to examine exoplanets for habitability, or even signs of life.
First Direct Spectrum of an Exoplanet Orbiting a Sun-like Star | universetoday.com


Quote
First Direct “Chemical Fingerprint” of an Exoplanet orbiting a Sun-Like Star

Astronomers have obtained the first direct spectrum – a “chemical fingerprint” – of a planet orbiting a distant, Sun-like star, providing direct data about the composition of the planet's atmosphere. Such “chemical fingerprinting” is a key technique in the search for habitable planets around other stars. As such, the result represents a milestone in the search for life elsewhere in the Universe. More directly, results like this are expected to provide new insight into how planets form.

...In time, the astronomers hope that this technique will help them gain a better understanding of how planets form. As a likely first step, they aim to record the spectra of the two other giant planets orbiting HR 8799 – which would represent the first time that astronomers would be able to compare the spectra of three exoplanets that form part of one and the same system. As a much more distant goal, the technique will allow astronomers to examine exoplanets for habitability, or even signs of life.

More immediately, the results pose something of a challenge to current models of the exoplanet's atmosphere. “The features observed in the spectrum are not compatible with current theoretical models,” explains MPIA's Wolfgang Brandner, a co-author of the study. “We need to take into account a more detailed description of the atmospheric dust clouds, or accept that the atmosphere has a different chemical composition than previously assumed.”


Questions & Answers

What is new about this result?
This is the first spectrum that was directly measured for an exoplanet orbiting a Sun-like star. Most previous measurements relied on indirect measurements (watching an exoplanet pass directly behind its host star in an “exoplanetary eclipse”, and extracting the spectrum by comparing the light of the star before and after). One previous direct measurement was on a system involving an object that is either a Brown Dwarf (a “failed star” – an object that is not massive enough to become a star, but too massive to be a planet) or a very dim young star. Other direct measurements produced not a proper spectrum, but merely information about one very small sliver of a spectrum (a particular “spectral line”), conjecturally assigned to a star's exoplanet.


How does this help in the search for life on other planets?
This kind of spectroscopic measurement – only much more accurate than in this case! – will be needed to determine whether an exoplanet is suitable for harbouring life as we know it. This determination would be made by looking at the chemical composition of the planet's atmosphere. Furthermore, such studies could reveal indirect signs of existing life: The abundances of different molecules in a planet's atmosphere are regulated by the laws of chemistry. Certain deviations from these standard abundances indicate the presence of life-forms that process chemicals – for instance, the current abundance of oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere is mainly due to the activity of algae, more than 2 billion years ago. We still have a long way to go to find life on exoplanets – from the detection of smaller, more Earth-like planets to the development of more precise spectroscopic measurement techniques. But the technique pioneered here brings us an important step close to our goal.


What are the specific results?
The team was able to determine the spectrum of the planet – spatially distinct from the spectrum of the star – in the wavelength region between 3.88 and 4.08 micrometres. The spectrum is very noisy; taking an average ("smoothing") suppresses the noise and allows a comparison with the spectra predicted by theoretical models. Due to the noise, no spectral lines could be resolved. However, the comparison between the smoothed-out spectra shows a clear deviation between the observed spectral shape and that predicted by the current standard models, which assume chemical equilibrium between the different chemical elements present in the atmosphere, and a continuous temperature profile (hotter layers below colder layers). At longer wavelengths (above 4 micrometres), the planet is significantly fainter than expected, which points to molecular absorption in its atmosphere. The simplest explanation is that the atmosphere contains less methane and more carbon monoxide than previously assumed.
First Direct “Chemical Fingerprint” of an Exoplanet orbiting a Sun-Like Star | Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
« Last Edit: January 13, 2010, 13:43:21 by electrobleme »

electrobleme

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Did the Moon and Earth form in Natural Nuclear Reaction and Explosion?
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2010, 19:16:10 »


Natural Nuclear explosion helped form the Earth and the Moon?


Quote
Did the Moon Form in Natural Nuclear Explosion?

According to a new theory of lunar formation the moon may have formed after the explosion of a runaway nuclear georeactor in the Earth’s mantle

The standard theory of the origin of the Moon is called the giant impact hypothesis. It supposes that early in the Solar System’s history, a massive object smashed into the Earth, cleaving it into two unequal parts. The smaller of these condensed into the Moon.

The best simulations of this process suggest that about 80 percent of Moon ought to have come from the impactor and 20 percent from the Earth.

That’s hard to reconcile with the measured make up of Moon rock, which is almost identical to Earth rock in terms of isotopic content. Some planetary geologists say this could be explained if, soon after the impact, the debris mixed well before forming into solid bodies. But others counter that this might explain the similarity in the isotopic ratios of lighter elements such as oxygen but can’t easily account for the identical ratio of heavier elements such as chromium, neodymium and tungsten.

But there’s another theory called the fission hypothesis that could account for the similar isotopic content. This idea is that the Earth and Moon both formed from a rapidly spinning blob of molten rock. This blob was spinning so rapidly that the force of gravity only just overcame the centrifugal forces at work.

In this system, any slight kick would have ejected a small blob of molten rock into orbit. This blob eventually formed the Moon.

The fission hypothesis has been studied for 150 years but ultimately rejected because nobody has been able to work out where the energy could have come from to kick a lunar-sized blob into orbit.

Now Rob de Meijer at University of the Western Cape and Wim van Westrenen at VU University in Amsterdam say they know where that kick might have come from.

Their idea is that centrifugal forces would have concentrated heavier elements such as uranium and thorium near the Earth’s surface on the equatorial plane. High concentrations of these radioactive elements can lead to nuclear chain reactions which can become supercritical if the concentrations are high enough.

The question is how concentrated could these elements have become. De Miejer and van Westrenen calculate that it is quite possible for the concentration to be high enough for a runaway nuclear reaction.

Their theory is that the explosion of a natural nuclear georeactor after it became supercritical ejected the material that eventually formed the Moon.

They also say that there ought to be telltale evidence that such an explosion took place, particularly in the lunar abundance of helium-3 and xenon -136, which would both have been produced in great quantities in a natural georeactor.

Future measurements from the surface could provide the evidence needed to confirm their theory but the analysis will not be easy. It is well known that the solar wind deposits vast amounts of these substances onto the lunar surface so that will have to be taken into account.

Of course, georeactors are by no means hypothetical. The most famous is in Oklo in Gabon, not so far from the equator, where a natural nuclear reactor was clearly in operation until about 1.5 billion years ago, leaving telltale signs in the uranium deposits now being mined.

One interesting corollary of this discussion centres on the origin of this theory which is credited to George Darwin, son of the more famous member of this family. Not content with settling the debate over the origin of the species, could it be that the Darwin family might eventually account for the origin of the Moon, too?

Did the Moon Form in Natural Nuclear Explosion? | lunarscience.arc.nasa.gov


Quote
An alternative hypothesis for the origin of the Moon

Recent high-precision measurements of lunar samples show a very high degree of similarity between the elemental and isotopic compositions of Earth mantle and the Moon. This similarity, which is exhibited by both light and heavy elements and their isotopes, is difficult to reconcile with the currently favoured giant impact hypothesis for lunar formation. We propose an alternative explanation for the compositional correspondence, namely that the Moon was formed from the ejection of terrestrial mantle material in a heat-propelled jet, triggered by a run-away natural georeactor at Earth core-mantle boundary. The energy produced by the run-away reactor supplies the missing energy term in the fission hypothesis for lunar formation first proposed by Darwin (1879). Our hypothesis straightforwardly explains the identical isotopic composition of Earth and Moon for both lighter (oxygen, silicon, potassium) and heavier (chromium, neodymium and tungsten) elements.

An alternative hypothesis for the origin of the Moon | arxiv.org/abs

electrobleme

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new rock type on the moon - no easy explanation
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2010, 00:47:06 »

New Lunar rock means the old model was wrong

This new lunar rock type discovered (formed totally of magnesium-rich spinel) “with no detectable pyroxene or olivine present...does not easily fit with current lunar crustal evolution models." Thats just for starters of this Geogate, lines like "Creating foreign deposits without a trace of their origin is hard to do" must mean the original model will need to be totally revised or at least completely reconsidered? Yeah? No....

Quote
Chandrayaan’s M3 discovers new lunar rock type

The Moon Minerology Mapper (M3) on Chandrayaan-1, which famously discovered the presence of water and hydroxyl molecules on the lunar surface material last year, has now identified a new lunar rock type on the far side of the moon. The M3 is a NASA instrument. This was reported here on Monday by Carle Pieters of Brown University, lead author of the present study, at the Sixth Chandrayaan-1 Science Meeting being held at the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), a unit of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The rock-type is dominated by a mineral termed as ‘magnesium spinel.’ Spinel is a generic name given to a class of minerals having the chemical formula AB{-2}O{-4} and the usual spinel formations found in lunar rocks is an iron-magnesium admixture of the form (Mg, Fe)(Al, Cr){-2}O{-4}. These rocks are usually found along with magnesium-iron silicate (olivine) and calcium-rich aluminium silicate (pyroxene).

Unique feature

According to Professor Pieters, the interesting feature of the new rock type is that it is exclusively composed of magnesium-rich spinel “with no detectable pyroxene or olivine present.” This, she said, does not easily fit with current lunar crustal evolution models.

Rich in anorthosites

The generally accepted characterisation of the lunar crust is based principally on retrieved lunar material by the Apollo-Luna missions and meteorite samples. The crust is described as a rocky accumulation, basically rich in calcium-aluminium silicates (anorthosites) infused with a mix of compounds containing magnesium and iron (‘mafic’ minerals).

However, the western ring of the Moscoviense Basin of the moon appears to be one of the several discrete areas that exhibit unusual compositions relative to their surroundings, but without morphological evidence for separate geological processes leading to their exposure.

The findings are based on data acquired by M3 in January 2009 during the first observation period of Chandrayaan-1 from its initial 100 km altitude orbit over a 40 km wide strip field of view, with a spatial resolution of 140 m/pixel. The mapping was done using the emission spectrum of the surface over the wavelength region 460-3000 nanometres with a spectral resolution of 20-40 nm.

Five anomalous areas

The general composition of the area observed had a low abundance of mafic minerals and a high abundance of feldspathic minerals such as pyroxene. While this was consistent with earlier observations, five anomalous areas that are widely separated were seen along the lower elevations of the ring (see pic.). Interestingly, no unusual feature or any compositional boundary was seen for any of these areas.

Calcium-rich pyroxene is prominent in areas 2 and some parts of 3 and 4. Olivine is prominent across 5 and parts of 4. In contrast, the whole of region 1 and part of region 3 were exceptionally dark in the images. This, according to Professor Pieters, is because of the high absorption that the areas seem to have in the 2000 nm region, together with the near complete absence of pyroxene or olivine (less than 5 per cent) as indicated by the lack of any absorption around 1000 nm.

While regions rich in olivine or pyroxenes have been seen in other basins, this is the first time a magnesium-rich spinel region has been identified. “The clear interpretation of these spectra is that the surfaces represent a new rock type dominated by magnesium-rich spinel with no other detectable mafic minerals,” Professor Pieters said.

No easy explanation

There does not seem to be any easy explanation for the occurrence of these spinel formations. Since magnesium-spinels have been seen in some asteroids, one possible explanation is that the source is exogenous asteroid or comet impacts. However, there is no evidence of any impact or dispersion of rubble pile and the like from the impact’s aftermath.

An interesting feature of the Moscoviense Basin is that the crust in the region is much thinner, compared to other basins. This is indicative of a magma upturning over much recent time scales as compared to other regions. Also this offers one possible explanation for the occurrence of magnesium-rich minerals because these are very dense and would have been deposited right at the bottom during the cooling and crystallization of the crust. The recent upturning may have brought it up from the lunar deep crust during the basin formation, Professor Pieters pointed out.

Lunar crust origin

But that still does not explain the localised nature of the anomalous regions that extend only about a few kilometres across, she said. “Creating foreign deposits without a trace of their origin is hard to do. We, therefore, favour a lunar crust origin,” she said. “But even that interpretation is not entirely satisfactory. We need to fully characterise the morphology of the anomalous regions with high resolution data from TMC [ISRO’s Terrain Mapping Camera] images,” she added.
Chandrayaan’s M3 discovers new lunar rock type | thehindu.com

electrobleme

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Titan model or Tit model?
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2010, 23:36:26 »


Titan - the models predicted. What?

The mathematical/scientific models predicted to slightly different models of Titans atmosphere, also its oceans of ethane etc.

** Why Titans geology will be similar to Earths/Venus/Mars/Mercury - forum posting on Titan in an Electric Universe and why it is similar physically to the other rocky planets

Quote
A moon with atmosphere: Saturn's biggest moon, Titan, has an atmosphere more like ours than any other body in the Solar System. Why?

28 September 1991 by KEN CROSWELL
...Their best candidate lies not among the planets but in their satellites: Saturn's moon Titan, a world that at first glance seems anything but earthly. Titan lies over a billion kilometres from the Sun and has a temperature of -179 °C. But the temperature is the key; it has frozen the satellite into the past. Titan has a dense nitrogen atmosphere containing many organic compounds. Scientists believe that present-day Titan resembles ancient Earth so much that through it they can study the conditions that fostered the development of life on Earth.

...The first definite proof that Titan had an atmosphere came in 1944, when the American astronomer Gerard Kuiper analysed the spectrum of sunlight reflected from Titan. Kuiper noticed that certain wavelengths present in sunlight reaching Earth were absent in the light that Titan reflected. The missing parts of the spectrum matched those absorbed by the gas methane in experiments, so Kuiper concluded that Titan was surrounded by methane - making it the first satellite known to have an atmosphere.

Methane is a common gas in the outer Solar System: by the 1930s, astronomers had discovered it in the atmospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. But Titan's atmosphere was nothing like the thick layers of gas in the giant planets. If methane were the only gas, Kuiper's work implied that the atmospheric pressure on Titan was perhaps 1 per cent of that on Earth, similar to Mars.

The methane atmosphere that Kuiper discovered was nonetheless a novelty, for it surrounded not a planet but a moon. Planets such as Earth can easily hold on to the gases in their atmospheres, for they are big enough to have strong gravity. But how can an atmosphere exist around Titan when a planet such as Mercury has almost none? Mercury is slightly smaller than Titan, but it is also denser, so its gravity is greater and it should be able to hold onto gases better.

Kuiper himself supplied the answer: the ability of a body to retain gases depends not only on the object's gravity but also on its temperature. A cold body like Titan can retain an atmosphere more easily than a hot body like Mercury: the lower the temperature, the more slowly the molecules in the atmosphere move, and so the more easily the planet or satellite can hold onto them. Titan's low temperature more than compensates for its weaker gravity...

...As astronomers assimilated these and other observations during the 1970s, two very different models emerged for Titan's atmosphere. One model, devised by Robert Danielson and John Caldwell of Princeton University, called for Titan to have a methane atmosphere with a pressure 2 per cent that of Earth. Though thin by our standards, it was nonetheless thicker than the atmosphere of Mars.

A radically different model was proposed by Donald Hunten of the University of Arizona. Hunten believed that Titan had a dense atmosphere of nitrogen, the gas that makes up 78 per cent of Earth's atmosphere. Methane was only a minor constituent. No one had ever found nitrogen on Titan, but Hunten believed that was because this gas, an absorber of ultraviolet rather than visible or infrared radiation, is so difficult to detect from Earth. Hunten put the pressure of this nitrogen atmosphere at 20 times the atmospheric pressure on Earth.

The two different models led to predictions of different temperatures for Titan's surface. If Titan had only a thin atmosphere, then it must be quite cold, because the satellite lies far from the warmth of the Sun. If, on the other hand, there was a thick atmosphere, it would be warmer, for the gases would trap what little heat Titan receives from the Sun.

During the 1960s and 1970s, astronomers used infrared and radio frequency observations to deduce Titan's temperature, but their results disagreed with one another. In the late 1970s, instrumental improvement led to the most trustworthy measurement - which later turned out to be correct. It showed that Titan is quite cold, about as cold as it should be for a world so far from the Sun. This result argued against the thick nitrogen atmosphere, and nearly all astronomers believed that Titan had only a thin methane atmosphere.

When spacecraft reached Saturn, they proved this consensus wrong. The first spacecraft to reach Saturn was Pioneer 11. Launched in 1973, Pioneer 11 flew past Jupiter in 1974 and Saturn in 1979. Pioneer discovered a new ring around Saturn and nearly collided with an uncharted moon. But the few pictures Pioneer took of Titan showed little detail...

...The exciting results came not from Voyager's cameras but from instruments that probed the cloudy atmosphere. To the surprise of nearly everyone involved, Voyager discovered that Titan's atmosphere is dense, as Hunten had predicted. The atmospheric pressure is 1.5 times that on Earth, so the atmosphere is much thinner than Hunten had predicted. This explains why Titan is so cold; its atmosphere can trap little heat from the Sun. But Voyager vindicated Hunten's other prediction, for it found that nitrogen makes up somewhere between 82 and 99 per cent of the atmosphere.

The spacecraft also found the methane that had been detected from Earth nearly 40 years before, but its measurements showed that methane accounts for no more than a few per cent of the atmosphere...

..Nonetheless, the atmosphere Voyager discovered is astonishing. Though over a billion kilometres from the Sun, Titan's atmosphere resembles air on Earth, with its 78 per cent nitrogen, more than any other atmosphere in the Solar System. Earth's nearest neighbours are very different. Venus has a far thicker atmosphere than ours, whereas Mars's atmosphere is far thinner, and both are primarily carbon dioxide rather than nitrogen. The only other known nitrogen atmosphere surrounds Neptune's moon Triton, but there the air is much thinner than on either Earth or Titan. Pluto may also have a nitrogen atmosphere, but it is probably even more tenuous.

A moon with atmosphere: Saturn's biggest moon, Titan, has an atmosphere more like ours than any other body in the Solar System. Why?