Tag: Titan

What Would You Sound Like on Venus?

By Veronique Greenwood | April 3, 2012 12:40 pm

venus
First consider what, exactly, you’d be doing here.

Like a Smurf with a bass voice, according to Tim Leighton, a professor of acoustics at University of Southampton who has made it his mission to figure this kind of thing out, using physics and math combined with data about otherworldly atmospheres.

Venus’s atmosphere is much denser than ours, so vocal cords would vibrate more slowly there, yielding a lower voice—the opposite of what happens when you inhale helium. The speed of sound, though, is a lot faster on Venus than it is here, Leighton explains in a press release. He says that this can mess with how big we imagine the speaker to be: “This tricks the way our brain interprets the size of a speaker (presumably an evolutionary trait that allowed our ancestors to work out whether an animal call in the night was something that was small enough to eat or so big as to be dangerous).” So we might interpret that deep bass rumble as coming from a diminutive form.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Aliens Therefrom

Fore! Golf Game Lets You Frolick on Saturn's Moons

By Veronique Greenwood | June 27, 2011 12:29 pm

enceladusThis takes location golfing to a new level.

If 18 holes on Kauai or Tenerife is old hat, grab your clubs and head to Saturn’s moons.

The NASA team behind the Cassini orbiter periodically release troves of gorgeous images of Saturn and its dozens of moons, revealing the gouges on Enceladus and the lakes of Titan. The drool-worthy vistas just beg to be explored, and you can now do just that with a nifty little Flash game developed by Diamond Sky Productions called Golf Sector 6. The game takes players through several 9-hole courses across a variety of Saint-Exupéry-esque moons, whose cratered surfaces are patched together from Cassini’s images. As Saturn drifts by in the background, you can relax, put your feet up, and bat a small pink ball toward the hole with your mouse. But beware of that pesky escape velocity: it’s different on every moon, and it’s way, way less than Earth’s.

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If Ke$ha Was Into Astrobiology, She Still Wouldn't Have Made This Video

By Eliza Strickland | January 5, 2011 3:48 pm

Need to teach 13-year-old Ke$ha fans about the quest for extraterrestrial life, but worried you won’t capture their attention? Fret no more. Fresh off of YouTube comes a parody of Ke$ha’s song “We R Who We R,” refashioned into an informative and utterly dorky song about astrobiology.

The video credits Jank for the lyrics and video and mrskimful for the music. We applaud the creators for their shout-outs to moons like Jupiter’s Europa and Saturn’s Titan and Enceladus–all promising destinations in the search for microbial life in our solar system. But we have to take exception to the quick, unqualified mention of bacteria that can thrive on arsenic, and the video’s implication that this recent finding stretches scientists’ notions about what kinds of life can exist. Have they not been following the roiling controversy over whether that finding is valid?

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Aliens Therefrom
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