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Unformatted text preview: 1 Extraterrestrial Life: Spring 2008 Saturn system Gas giant: smaller than Jupiter… about 95 Earth masses • rings: extend from 6,000-120,000 km above the equator of Saturn… made up of mostly small icy particles • orbital radius is 9.6 AU - planet formed in a still colder part of the protoplanetary disk in which hydrocarbon ices as well as water ice were present Extraterrestrial Life: Spring 2008 Satellites of Saturn Large number ~60 moons Enceladus : 500km diameter moon, orbital radius 240,000km Titan : 5150km diameter - second largest moon in the Solar system after Ganymede • orbital radius 1.2 million km • orbital period (Saturn) 16 days • orbital period of Saturn ~30 years Solar Fux ~1% of value at Earth Temperature in absence of greenhouse effect ~80K Extraterrestrial Life: Spring 2008 Both satellites are of interest for astrobiology: Enceladus : possible existence of liquid water in the subsurface - plumes mean that it is easily accessible to measurements! Titan : no evidence for liquid water, but many similarities to the early Earth - may provide information on the chemistry that preceded life on Earth The ESA Huygens probe landed on Titan early in the...
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This note was uploaded on 08/31/2009 for the course GEOL 3300 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Colorado.
- Spring '08