15 February 2011

Clouds across the moon…




Gavin Pretor-Pinney is not a name that will be familiar to millions but new released by NASA recently will almost certainly delight him.

Mr Proctor-Pinney is the founder of the wonderful group the Cloud Appreciation Society/ The news from NASA concerns the discovery of Cirrus-like clouds on Titan

According to Discoveryon The Cassini spacecraft has recorded thin, wispy clouds of ice particles on the Saturn moon, Titan, that are similar to cirrus clouds. The discovery was made using Cassini’s Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS).


“This is the first time we have been able to get details about these clouds. Previously, we had a lot of information about the gases in Titan’s atmosphere but not much about the [high-altitude] clouds,” said Robert Samuelson at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The discovery will, I’m sure, provide a valuable insight into the atmospheric cycles on Titan. Some day climate scientists will undertake research from Titan itself.

Me, I love the idea of that people will look up from an alien surface and see wispy earth-like clouds…

12 comments:

Francis Sedgemore said...

Cloud Appreciation Society member number 23,001 writes...

It's "Gavin Pretor-Pinney".

Funky name, funky guy!

Francis Hunt said...

You'll have to admit, jams, you're really asking for this title! :-)

jams o donnell said...

Gah as CAS member 21something, something, something how could I make that mistake!

It's a great name though!


Ah that's what I was thinking... not that I liked the Rah Band!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Proctor? Well, I could offer a few guesses re the cause of mistake ;-)

Myself, I read the "cirrus" as "citrus" at first. Caused me to think about some special hail...

jams o donnell said...

A rain of orange juice... Now there's a thought!

Liz said...

But will the clouds look like the virgin mary?

Francis Hunt said...

Oh, is she appearing on Titan now? She does get around!

jams o donnell said...

No BVMs this time at all Liz. Had there been any I would have been first with the news!


She is a busy lass despite her age Francis!

susan said...

I've just finished re-reading Paul McAuley's book 'The Quiet War'. It's set a few hundred years in the future when people are living on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. If you have any energy for sci-fi he's very much worth reading for his great descriptions of place as well as his astute (and thinly veiled re: modern times) political observations.

jams o donnell said...

Thanks Susan. I'll add it to my reading list,,, I do like Sci Fi

Stan said...

Pretor-Pinney's book The Cloudspotter's Guide is a treat for sky-watchers. I do love clouds, but I wouldn't mind fewer of them than we've had lately...

jams o donnell said...

Agreed. It is a delight. I wish we had fewer clouds too Stan!