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24 April 2014 11:45 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Major climate data sets have underestimated the rate of global warming in the last 15 years owing largely to poor data...
The tsetse fly is best known as the vector for the trypanosome parasites that cause sleeping sickness and a disease in...
The National Institutes of Health is revising its "two strikes" rule, which allowed researchers only one chance to...
By stabilizing the components of retromers, molecular complexes that act like recycling bins in cells, a recently...
Fossil fuels power modern society by generating heat, but much of that heat is wasted. Semiconductor devices called...
Researchers are gaining insights into what made Supertyphoon Haiyan so powerful and devastating through post-storm...
Millions around the world got a first-hand look at what it was like to be in Tacloban while it was pummeled by...
- 24 April 2014 11:45 am , Vol. 344 , #6182
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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.