• Photo by Nicolas J Leclercq on Unsplash
  • Photo by Nicolas Tissot on Unsplash
  • Photo by NASA on Unsplash
  • Photo by USGS on Unsplash

Lets meet Titan again!

Titan is the second largest moon of the Solar System (after Jupiter's Ganymede) and the largest moon of Saturn. It has icy and rocky materials in its interior and is the only moon that has a denser atmosphere than the Earth. Its surface has been characterised to have a combination of features- lakes, craters, volcanoes, mountains! The surface is ideal for understanding the chemical processes that took place before life emerged.

Titan was discovered by Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens, after whom ESA's Huygens probe of NASA's Cassini mission was named. On 14 January 2005, the probe touched down at the surface and provided us with measurements before its lifetime of 72 minutes after a 2 hours descent. 

Dragonfly is a NASA rotorcraft lander mission that will visit the moon in 2034 with launch in July 2028. The plan is to fly to different locations on Titan and collect data to understand the progression of prebiotic chemistry and characterise habitability of its environment. The mission will be a first of its kind with many technical feats such as operating in temperatures of -180°C in an atmosphere that is four times denser. 

Good luck to Dragonfly! Lets meet Titan again!

Image credits: NASA/John Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben

Shivangi Sharan is a postdoctoral research associate at Imperial College London, working on prioritising the research that will be carried out using the JUICE magnetometer data. Previously, she has worked on the interior of Mars and Jupiter using their magnetic observations. She is an active member of the IAGA Blog Team and can be contacted via e-mail here.

Outreach sessions at EGU

The European Geosciences Union Assembly for 2024 will take place at Vienna, Austria from 14th April to 19th April. The conference will be hybrid with both in person and online participation.

While there are a lot of sessions pertaining to science, here are some interesting outreach events curated by IAGA and EGU member, Anita Di Chiara

Short Courses-

SC3.4 Creative collaboration: working with artists to communicate science
Wed, 17 Apr, 10:45–12:30 (CEST) | Room -2.85/86

SC7.1 Draw them in: communicating your research through illustration 
Wed, 17 Apr, 16:15–18:00 (CEST) | Room -2.33

SC7.2 Turn your documents to ART: Blacking-out scientific papers to create poetry
Thu, 18 Apr, 08:30–10:15 (CEST) | Room -2.33

Education and Outreach Session-

EOS1.3 Exploring the Art-Science Interface
Orals | Wed, 17 Apr, 08:30–12:25 (CEST) | Room 1.15/16
Posters on site | Wed, 17 Apr, 16:15–18:00 (CEST) | Wed, 17 Apr, 14:00–18:00 | Hall X1

EOS1.5 Games for Geoscience
Orals | Wed, 17 Apr, 14:00–15:45 (CEST) | Room 1.15/16
Posters on site | Thu, 18 Apr, 16:15–18:00 (CEST) | Thu, 18 Apr, 14:00–18:00 | Hall A
Posters virtual | Thu, 18 Apr, 14:00–15:45 (CEST) | Thu, 18 Apr, 08:30–18:00 | vHall A


NET10 Geoscience Games Night
Wed, 17 Apr, 18:00–19:30 (CEST) | Room -2.31

For more details, you can visit the official website here

International Geomagnetic Reference Field (IGRF)-14

Every five years, the international geomagnetic community come together to create a series of maps of the Earth’s main magnetic field. The maps are often referred to as models because they capture only some of the sources that produce the magnetic field at or above the surface. The International Geomagnetic Reference Field (IGRF) represents the main or core magnetic field which can be used for navigation by the general public or as a baseline for satellites to refer to. This will be the fourteenth update, hence the model is called IGRF-14.

The maps are updated every five years because the Earth’s main magnetic field changes slowly over time, caused by flow of the liquid iron in the outer core. Measurements of the magnetic field are made at geomagnetic observatories on the ground and by specialist satellites around 500 km above the surface.

The measurements are combined together in a mathematical manner to create two snapshots of the magnetic field five years in the past (2020) and slightly into the future (2025). The community also makes an estimate of how the magnetic field will change between 2025 and 2030. In 2030, we will go back and revise the 2025 map, make a new map for 2030 based on up to date measurements and then forecast to 2035.

A call has just been released to the community for IGRF-14. More information is available at the official IGRF page: https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/products/international-geomagnetic-reference-field.

IGRF-13 map of declination angle (in degrees east of west of True North) for 2020.0

- Dr. Ciaran Beggan, British Geological Survey (BGS)