Titan’s Robust Weather Pattern

Imagine living in a world where natural gas in liquid form falls out of the sky as you look up. This of course is no imagination coming from man rather it’s known as Titan! A small moon compared to Saturn itself, about the size of Mercury has a robust weather pattern. Scientists have observed cloud cover over Titan’s vast dune fields as reported in science this week and covered in various news outlets (here and here).

“When photos showed a large patch near the equator of Titan mysteriously darken and then grow lighter within a couple of weeks, scientists knew something big was happening on Saturn’s largest moon. But what they found was something they didn’t expect: a methane rainstorm in a region of Titan thought to be covered by vast, arid dunes.”

“While the large moon is known to have methane lakes at its north and south poles, scientists thought Titan’s equatorial region was mostly dry, but the likely cause of the darkness was determined to be an outburst of clouds and methane rain — which suggests Titan’s equator has a rainy season.”

The weather pattern various from a drizzle to a flood in some areas. Observations of clouds changing in brightness were detected by the space probe Cassini from October of 2010 to January 2011. The clouds covered an estimate of 1000 km but left no evidence of standing liquid on the ground. Since Titan’s atmosphere is considered similar to that of earth, it was a bit of a surprise to discover a weather pattern near or on the equator that shows long dry spells rather than a tropical pattern observed on earth.

Perhaps Cassini is causing man-made global warming on Titan! Maybe future probes will have to go through emission tests first before being sent out in space so this problem doesn’t happen again! In all seriousness though, for some reason the clouds do not remain near the equator for long but most likely was able to wet the surface a bit without leaving puddles.

Not surprisingly, none of the publications discuss the age issue, because its easier to have a dogma set in place than to test the real issue. It would be reasonable to find evidence of vast deposits of precipitation if cloudbursts have been going on for millions or even billions of years! The channels do seem to reflect the drainage channels as being formed by current active weather patterns rather than relics of past epochs which makes Titan much younger than 4.5 billion years old!

How could scientists who believe in old ago dogma test the issue? After all, theoretical physicists are in the process of trying to come up with a formula to fit natural-only models of galaxy formation from contradictory evidence such as mature galaxies and stars being discovered in part of the universe where it’s considered immature. The answer to what scientists could do to test the old age dogma in order to have a better understanding is this, they could model what the conditions on Titan would be expected to look like after billions of years and ask whether the model fits current observations!

Mysterious Phenomena Happening On Titan

What’s going on with Saturn’s largest moon? Observations show lakes are appearing and disappearing which means the lakes are shallow and the liquid hydrocarbons in them are moving around. These lakes predominantly contain methane  and ethane.  In 2004, new dark areas was discovered in Arrakis Planitia near the south. These lakes have shrunk considerably in a span of 44 months.

A new paper and photo…Lake Ontario Lacus, which was discovered on the south pole, its shoreline has shrunk by 5.5 to 7 miles. Estimates of shrinkage is a bit tricky, while it’s not practical to measure these lakes directly, estimates show how much Arrakis gained and lost as a proxy which are based on estimates from 2004, containing the methane-carrying capacity cloud system where the cloudburst must have declined 2.4 to 14 cm of methane rain into the Arrakis basin (upper limit 4.2 m).  This yields estimates that between 24 to 140 km3 of liquid was lost at Arrakis in 4 years from a combination of evaporation and infiltration; probably similar amounts at Ontario.

Interesting to note, the northern lakes  in Titan have not declined between observations. This makes it even more interesting to watch what the “methane cycle” does to the southern and northern lakes as the seasons change and more sunlight hits the north.

Another thing to watch for is the lake bottom not being dark, as might be expected from sedimentation of hydrocarbons.  Either some sort of wave action cleansed the bottom as the shoreline retreated, or any sediments are light colored.  The authors favor the sediments being light-colored latter, saying that “bright organic condensates may be deposited within the lakes and exposed as the liquid level drops (Barnes et al., 2009).” This view is strengthened by the fact that the Cassini orbiter’s cameras saw numerous dark features in the south in 2004-2005, but light material as Ontario retreated.  It is not possible to know from albedo (reflected brightness) alone the composition of the bright sediments.

One can take a look back in history in all of this, in 1981 when Voyager I made its visit, scientists discovered an irreversible erosion of atmospheric methane was precipitating hydrocarbons onto the surface (especially ethane, which doesn’t have a way to get back into the atmosphere), scientists expected to find, over the course of 4.5 billion years, an accumulation of half a kilometer or more of liquid ethane in a global ocean.

The prediction of liquid ethane based on an assumption of Titan being 4.5 billion years old was later falsified in a specular way by the Cassini observations! In fact, the Huygens probe had been designed to float on that ocean predicted by scientists but that failed to come true. Instead, scientists discovered on Titan to have paltry accumulations of liquid in scattered lakes near the poles, while the equatorial regions are largely covered in icy sand dunes!

Now the sediments are bright, which would be surprising in itself, so one asks, “is there enough sediment to account for 4.5 billion years of deposition?”  In addition, Titan, the largest moon with the greatest gravitational attraction, accounts for only a few craters (three to five) after all that time. You may be asking with these observations, could  there been processes go on for billions of years? Many scientists are forced into a particular timescale, evolution happened slowly and gradually with the planets and stars. So what evolution sounds best at is when the evidence is speculated upon an unseen. These type of explanations had been invoked for the falsifications done by the probes on Titan.

For example, somehow the ethane seeped into the interior where no one can find it; maybe the interior has a methane reservoir that erupts through cryovolcanoes, replenishing the atmosphere; maybe this, maybe that.  If these scientists stick to the observations being discovered and draw reasonable conclusions from data alone, they would have to conclude that there are severe upper limits on how long Titan has been acting this way! The phenomena happening on Titan verifies, a Creator namely God!

Do Ingredients Suggest Emergence of Life?

Scientist and science publications have been pushing the idea if there is water, life is certain to have emerged from it. This reminds me of this idea, for many years it was believed that maggots were created with spoiled food until it was also disproved many years later by Louis Pasteur.

Take a look at some of these articles that are based on what I call,“ingredients approach”science daily reports…

“This discovery suggests that this region of our solar system contains more water ice than anticipated,” said University of Central Florida Professor Humberto Campins. “And it supports the theory that asteroids may have hit Earth and brought our planet its water and the building blocks for life to form and evolve here.”

In space.com has another study with the ingredients approach, “We can do this entirely in an atmosphere,” researcher Sarah Horst, a University of Arizona graduate student, said in a statement. “We don’t need liquid water, we don’t need a surface. We show that it is possible to make very complex molecules in the outer parts of an atmosphere.”

Sarah didn’t show any evidence for her claims that complex molecules come from the atmosphere, what she did was focus in on the ingredients and made the assumption those ingredients would emerge into life. She also claims that Titan’s atmosphere is a reservoir of prebiotic molecules that could serve as the springboard to life.

New Scientist has a version of the ingredient approach, “To find evidence for life we would need to measure the light spectrum of the planet’s atmosphere and look for the signature of water vapour, as well as possible by-products of life, such as oxygen and methane.”

And lastly, science daily and I believe someone linked this page in the comments, “By reconstructing an ancient protein and tracing how it subtly changed over vast periods of time to produce scores of modern-day descendants, scientists have shown how evolution tinkers with early forms and leaves the impression that complexity evolved many times.”

Creationists know the basic principle of evolution, a step by step, extremely slow process, so with that in mind, how a complex enzyme “emerged” so far back? The worst part of all these article is that they don’t have experimental evidence for their claims. For example, life has never been produced in a lab for any ingredients. So all their talk about all these ingredients supposedly able to emerge is unfounded. The Miller–Urey experiment didn’t produce life, in fact it has a “trap” in it. Why? Because if the things that were created in the lab would go through the process again, they would be destroyed. In nature, there are no such traps!

So why do some scientists just throw out these claims without not even having one “natural” example to go by? If they really know how life supposedly emerged through the ingredients don’t you think they could have reproduced it in a lab? They are really at the spoiled food assumption which life would supposedly emerge from that. No progress in other words! The foundation of the ingredient story holds no merit, no theory, but just a host of far out ideas about a fictional framework.

How Moons Defy Evolutionary Predictions

You might have heard this story, the moon is geologically dead because it contains no volcanos, no tectonic plates, no frost or wind erosion. There are no lakes or rivers either, therefore no water erosion. No living organisms that can change sedimentation, but all it has done through the assumed time frame of billions of years is shrink as it cooled down, yet the earth’s moon has defied such a prediction!

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has discovered the moon has brand new surface features which happened recently and it continues to shrink. In fact it’s possible that it may still be occurring today! Reported in science daily...

“The moon cooled off as it aged, and scientists have long thought the moon shrank over time as it cooled, especially in its early history. The new research reveals relatively recent tectonic activity connected to the long-lived cooling and associated contraction of the lunar interior. “We estimate these cliffs, called lobate scarps, formed less than a billion years ago, and they could be as young as a hundred million years,” said Dr. Thomas Watters of the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, Washington.”

Since “the scarps look crisp and relatively undegraded why couldn’t they be as young as a few thousand years or so, or 100 years? The article did point out the moon shrank early on in it’s supposed long history! Interesting to note, the article also mentioned Mercury. Despite being smaller it’s lobate scarps are 100 miles high and snake across the surface for hundreds of miles which is much larger than the scarps contained on the earth’s moon! All they could say was the moon shrank less.

Titan is another that was suppose to be geologically dead due to it’s supposed old age of billions of years, science daily reported…

“Since the formation of Titan, which scientists believe occurred around four billion years ago, the moon’s interior has cooled significantly,” as the old story goes…“But the moon is still releasing hundreds of gigawatts of power, some of which may be available for geologic activity.”

Another evolutionary prediction falsified once again! Observations like probing the moons and planets is what we really learn from in science, the reason why we don’t learn from evolutionary predictions and other speculations is because they are using the wrong model to explain things and discovery after discovery bare this out. It takes more faith to believe in these evolutionary predictions than God himself. If one goes by a young universe model, these recent observations are not opposed to it at all  in fact, it confirms it!