Monday, June 26, 2006


A spectacular view of Enceladus passing by Titan. The Cassini spacecraft is far enough away that we see their relative sizes. Enceladus has a diameter of 520 km, while Titan is the biggest satellite in the solar system with a diameter of 5150 km. What these two moons have in common is vulcanism.
Enceladus has a plume of gas venting from the hot spot on its South Pole, while Titan produces methane gas from an energy source in its interior. There is also evidence that Mars produces methane. This lends credence to Thomas Gold's theory that Earth continually produces hydrocarbons due to an internal heat source. Is our planet still producing oil?
From Titan to "TITANIC: the Artifact Exhibition" opened this month in San Francisco. I took this photo from the deck of the Queen Mary. February 23, 2006 was the first rendezvous with the new QUEEN MARY 2. QM2 is listed at 150,000 gross tons. The new ship has every conceivable luxury, including the first planetarium at sea.
TOMORROW: How big Queen Mary 2 is, plus another Saturn moon.


Blogger Paul & Michael said...

Passenger ships are measured in Gross Tons which is a measure of volume, not weight. Each Gross Ton represents 100 cubic feet of enclosed space on the ship. Warships are measured in displacement tons, the weight of water that the ship displaces which is the weight of the ship. My guesstimate is that the QM2 displaces around 100000 long tons.

3:10 AM  
Blogger Paul & Michael said...

Here's a better estimate from Wikipedia:
RMS Queen Mary 2
Tonnage: 151,400 gross tons
Displacement: 76,000 tonnes (approx)

8:33 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Thanks, I corrected the entry. Your input on QM2 is welcome.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Paul & Michael said...

You're welcome. It's not your fault that some 19th century maritime idiot decided to measure volume in "tons". My wife and I (she's Michael) are huge QM2 fans and sometime passengers. Looking forward to reading your take on the ship.

2:02 PM  
Blogger QINSHI said...

Hi Paul, I know you are a QM2 fan. Saw your list of menu's from the trip on your blog. Incidentally Michael is an unusal name, I was curious whether she is Italian Michaela, French Michelle, etc...

Anyway, looks like you both know how to enjoy life. Happy sailings, happy journeys, happy adventures!

4:21 PM  
Blogger Paul & Michael said...

Hi QINSHI. Michael is Michael, named for her grandfather. Long ago a classmate got a sore nose for insisting on Michelle, so take care.

3:10 AM  
Blogger QINSHI said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:34 PM  
Blogger QINSHI said...

Hi Paul, don't forget Princess Michael of Kent, another real life princess.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Paul & Michael said...

Hi qinshi, not to beat this topic to death and I am in favor of increasing the number of ladies named Michael, but Princess Michael of Kent (nee Marie-Christine Anna Agnes Hedwig Ida Freiin von Reibnitz) is a Michael only because she married Prince Michael of Kent.

5:22 AM  
Blogger Paul & Michael said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:24 AM  
Blogger QINSHI said...

Hi Paul, well I don't know about beating it to death, but its been put to rest. So what do you think of louise's photo of the QM2 and the post on propellers and Saturn's Rings.

All the best to you and your good lady wife.

8:56 AM  
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