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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: Titan's Shrinkage Raises Mountains
13 August 2010 2:09 pm
There's more than one way to raise a mountain. On Earth, most mountain ranges form when giant continental plates collide, or when one plate slides beneath another, pushing up the overlying rock. But the mountains on Saturn's giant moon Titan seem to have resulted from a different process altogether. Scientists comparing radar images from the Cassini spacecraft with geophysical models say that the three ridges in this image, released yesterday, were created when Titan's gradual cooling after its formation caused partial freezing of the moon's subsurface ocean of water and ammonia. As a result, Titan contracted and the overlying icy crust sagged and wrinkled up like a giant prune. In an upcoming issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research, the scientists report that Titan may be the only body in the solar system to display this mechanism.
This article has been corrected. It originally stated that Titan's contraction was due to subsurface ice melting instead of freezing in the subsurface ocean.
See more ScienceShots.