2.8 C
Madrid
Saturday, January 28, 2023

JWST’s Stunning Image of Titan Opens Gateway for New Research

Titan's images from the JWST have finally been made available to researchers

Must read

Russell Chattaraj
Russell Chattaraj
Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

UNITED STATES: Titan, a moon of Saturn, shares many characteristics with Earth but also differs significantly from our planet.

Like Earth, it features rivers, lakes, and seas, but the liquid that fills these bodies is made of hydrocarbons like methane and ethane rather than water.

JWST captures the striking picture of Titan

- Advertisement -

The pictures of this strange moon from the James Webb Space Telescope have finally become available to researchers after years of waiting.

Only one moon in the solar system, Titan, has a thick atmosphere. NASA claims that its scientists have been waiting for years to investigate atmosphere of Saturn’s moon using Webb’s infrared cameras in order to learn more about its weather patterns and gaseous composition.

Photo Credit: Twitter/NASAWebb
- Advertisement -

After comparing photos collected by the telescope’s NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) sensor, scientists established that the bright light in the northern hemisphere of Saturn’s moon is actually a large cloud.

Soon they noticed a second cloud. Cloud detection contributes to the accuracy of climatic computer models for Saturn’s moon.

- Advertisement -

The next step was determining whether the clouds were moving or altering their shape, which could provide crucial details on the airflow in Titan’s atmosphere. 

The researchers asked for additional observations from Hawaii’s Keck Observatory to do this. The clouds were still there, despite the scientists’ fears that they may have vanished when they received the follow-up observations.

Using Webb’s NIRSpec (Near-Infrared Spectrograph), which provides them access to many wavelengths that ground-based telescopes cannot detect, astronomers have also gathered Titan’s spectra.

They can learn about a bright spot they have seen above the moon’s south pole by analysing this data, which will also provide them with information about the make-up of Titan’s lowest atmosphere.

In the year 2034, NASA intends to set down its Dragonfly rotorcraft in Titan’s Selk Crater region. Examining radar images of the area captured by the Cassini spacecraft, NASA teams were able to characterise this region. 

However, NASA claims that NIRSpec data will enable researchers to probe Titan’s surface and lower atmosphere in ways that even Cassini could not.

Also Read: NASA’s Hubble Telescope Captures Spectacular Image of NGC 2660 Star Cluster

Author

  • Russell Chattaraj

    Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

- Advertisement -

Archives

- Advertisement -

Trending Today