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#26 2016-10-21 08:06:32

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Titan Terraformation - Is it possible?

Hydrocarbons could be turned into other hydrocarbons which are solid at room temperature.

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#27 2019-06-24 18:21:43

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,726

Re: Titan Terraformation - Is it possible?

This might be the first indication of life as 'Bathtub rings' around Titan's lakes might be made of alien crystals

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#28 2019-11-01 11:21:57

Calliban
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From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 181

Re: Titan Terraformation - Is it possible?

This is an interesting topic.  Anything in contact with solid ground on Titan would lose heat rapidly due to conduction.  So you want to stay above, or remain under the ground.  The atmosphere of Titan is almost pure nitrogen at a temperature of -180C.  At these frigid temperatures, at a pressure of 1.5bar, nitrogen would have a density of about 5kg/m3.  A vessel containing ordinary air at standard temperatures, would experience substantial lift.  Titan cities could actually be balloons of air, tethered to the surface.  The outer surfaces would be lined with aerogel.  A nuclear reactor on the ground, would pump hot nitrogen through a central column, maintaining internal temperatures.


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

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#29 2019-11-01 19:39:44

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,726

Re: Titan Terraformation - Is it possible?

A nuclear powered unit will radiate heat to keep it from getting cold and on contact would change solid nitrogen to vapor and hopefully it will not sink out of sight....if it comes in contact with the ground

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#30 2019-11-02 06:40:59

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,332

Re: Titan Terraformation - Is it possible?

For Calliban and SpaceNut ...

Thanks for restarting this topic!

I'm inspired to read the entire series before venturing a question or comment.  This was last updated in June of the current Earth year, so I would have read it, and marvel that I need to re-read it to refresh memory of the content.

However, Calliban, I really ** like ** your picture of air filled "balloons" as floating habitats.  Artificial gravity would be a nice feature of a hotel on the moon.

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2019-11-02 19:18:24)

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#31 2019-11-02 08:47:38

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,726

Re: Titan Terraformation - Is it possible?

Until the Cassini mission, little was known about Saturn's largest moon Titan, save that it was a Mercury-sized world and that is about to change. The space agency announced Jun 27, 2019; that it will launch a robotic mission to Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, in 2026. The mission, named Dragonfly, will deliver a dronelike spacecraft to the surface.
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa … ns-of-life

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#32 2019-11-29 17:41:53

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 181

Re: Titan Terraformation - Is it possible?

I am inclined to believe that terraforming Titan in not practical.  Providing the moon with an atmosphere containing abundant oxygen, would lead to oxidation of surface hydrocarbons.  This would be especially rapid if the surface were warmer.

The moon would appear to be uninhabitable without substantial warming.  It has a cold, dense nitrogen atmosphere.  At typical Titan surface temperature and pressure, nitrogen is close to liquidity point.  It would instantly freeze solid any human being on its surface.  Even warm clothing would not be enough to prevent this.


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

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#33 Yesterday 22:24:50

qraal
Member
From: Brisbane, Australia
Registered: 2008-01-02
Posts: 62

Re: Titan Terraformation - Is it possible?

Calliban wrote:

I am inclined to believe that terraforming Titan in not practical.  Providing the moon with an atmosphere containing abundant oxygen, would lead to oxidation of surface hydrocarbons.  This would be especially rapid if the surface were warmer.

The moon would appear to be uninhabitable without substantial warming.  It has a cold, dense nitrogen atmosphere.  At typical Titan surface temperature and pressure, nitrogen is close to liquidity point.  It would instantly freeze solid any human being on its surface.  Even warm clothing would not be enough to prevent this.

Insulated clothes should work just fine. As for "instantly freeze solid" that's total bunkum. Nothing is that cold. Human bodies put out 100 W or so of heat, and aren't going to lose it quick enough to freeze instantly.

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#34 Yesterday 23:32:35

qraal
Member
From: Brisbane, Australia
Registered: 2008-01-02
Posts: 62

Re: Titan Terraformation - Is it possible?

SpaceNut wrote:

A nuclear powered unit will radiate heat to keep it from getting cold and on contact would change solid nitrogen to vapor and hopefully it will not sink out of sight....if it comes in contact with the ground

The surface of Titan seems to be mostly water ice - at least that's what Huygens saw on the ground it landed on. The dunes seem to be hydrocarbon dust, probably cosmic-ray processed acetylene that has formed aromatics like benzene and such like.

Maybe you mean Triton, which has N2 ice, but its surface temperature is 38 K, so that's expected.

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#35 Today 02:45:56

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,145
Website

Re: Titan Terraformation - Is it possible?

qraal wrote:
Calliban wrote:

I am inclined to believe that terraforming Titan in not practical.  Providing the moon with an atmosphere containing abundant oxygen, would lead to oxidation of surface hydrocarbons.  This would be especially rapid if the surface were warmer.

The moon would appear to be uninhabitable without substantial warming.  It has a cold, dense nitrogen atmosphere.  At typical Titan surface temperature and pressure, nitrogen is close to liquidity point.  It would instantly freeze solid any human being on its surface.  Even warm clothing would not be enough to prevent this.

Insulated clothes should work just fine. As for "instantly freeze solid" that's total bunkum. Nothing is that cold. Human bodies put out 100 W or so of heat, and aren't going to lose it quick enough to freeze instantly.

How does the volumetric heat capacity (?) of the Titan atmosphere compare to water near the freezing point? People manage to go diving in the latter, with appropriate clothing on.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#36 Today 03:47:55

qraal
Member
From: Brisbane, Australia
Registered: 2008-01-02
Posts: 62

Re: Titan Terraformation - Is it possible?

To be honest, terraforming Titan seems bit of a fool's errand, since it's liable to turn into an ammoniated swamp if the sub-surface ocean breaks through. Warming the place to ~200 K might allow some more interesting biochemistry, but that presumes there's nothing interesting there already. We'll need to check out the bubble rafts in the polar lakes to make sure we're not destroying some unique cryo-chemistry.

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#37 Today 03:55:19

qraal
Member
From: Brisbane, Australia
Registered: 2008-01-02
Posts: 62

Re: Titan Terraformation - Is it possible?

Terraformer wrote:
qraal wrote:
Calliban wrote:

I am inclined to believe that terraforming Titan in not practical.  [..]
The moon would appear to be uninhabitable without substantial warming.  It has a cold, dense nitrogen atmosphere.  At typical Titan surface temperature and pressure, nitrogen is close to liquidity point.  It would instantly freeze solid any human being on its surface.  Even warm clothing would not be enough to prevent this.

Insulated clothes should work just fine. As for "instantly freeze solid" that's total bunkum. Nothing is that cold. Human bodies put out 100 W or so of heat, and aren't going to lose it quick enough to freeze instantly.

How does the volumetric heat capacity (?) of the Titan atmosphere compare to water near the freezing point? People manage to go diving in the latter, with appropriate clothing on.

Well it's N2 mostly and 5 kg/m^3, with a heat capacity of ~ 1 kJ/kg.K so ~ 5 kJ/m^3.K vs 4.2 MJ/m^3.K for water, so yeah, water's still going to suck up more heat. Of course the temperature differential is higher (about 210 K vs 30 K), but the conductivity of liquid water is still much higher.

People step into cryo-chambers at ~120 K or so, wearing insulated boots, but shirt-free. It's supposed to be therapeutic.

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#38 Today 04:05:47

qraal
Member
From: Brisbane, Australia
Registered: 2008-01-02
Posts: 62

Re: Titan Terraformation - Is it possible?

Back in the mid 1970s, one model for Titan's atmosphere was ~21 bars of N2, with a surface temperature of ~200 K. That's about what it'd take to "greenhouse effect" the place. More methane, thanks to photolytic polymerisation, would mean a stronger anti-greenhouse effect (AGE).

Supplying more radiant energy from the Sun, via a concentrating soletta, would puff the atmosphere up. Presently the troposphere finishes where the temperature drops to about ~70 K at the ~0.1 bar level. Increasing the troposphere equilibrium temperature probably won't lead to too much extra loss from the exosphere, because the mesosphere is already a warmish ~170 K. However I don't think we can push as high as Earth-like temperatures without crazy photochemical effects making the smog even more of a problem.

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