Return of Friday Rock Blogging: Titan

ice-hydrocarbon lumps on TitanThis image was taken by the Huygens probe, just after it landed on Saturn’s moon Titan. Lest you think I’m somehow on top of things, let me note that it was released last January – but that old-fashioned sepia tone comes from Titan’s thick hydrocarbon soup of an atmosphere, not from age.

You can see some cobbles in the picture, one of which may or may not have been cracked when Huygens landed on top of it. These aren’t rocks in the conventional “lump of silicates” sense; they’re composed of water and hydrocarbon ice, sort of like a hard-frozen gasoline-flavored slushie. They have rounded edges, indicating that they’ve been tumbled around, most likely in a river of liquid methane. Mmm, methane.

More pretty pictures of Titan here.


  1. Wren wrote:

    And that surface? That’s officially been described as “creme brulee.”

  2. yami wrote:

    Shows you what sort of cuisine they subsist on in Arizona, doesn’t it?

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