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Titan’s Lakes

11 Sep 2019, 08:32 UTC
Titan’s Lakes
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

The Saturn moon we know to have lakes made of liquid methane and ethane and not water. Now the formation of the lakes is being studied. Are they made from explosions? We can seriously ask these kinds of question thanks to on of the greatest planetary missions of all time — Cassini.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA: Using radar data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, recently published research presents a new scenario to explain why some methane-filled lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan are surrounded by steep rims that reach hundreds of feet high. The models suggests that explosions of warming nitrogen created basins in the moon’s crust.

Titan is the only planetary body in our solar system other than Earth known to have stable liquid on its surface. But instead of water raining down from clouds and filling lakes and seas as on Earth, on Titan it’s methane and ethane — hydrocarbons that we think of as gases but that behave as liquids in Titan’s frigid climate.

Most existing models that lay out the origin of Titan’s lakes show liquid methane dissolving the moon’s bedrock of ice and solid organic compounds, carving reservoirs that fill with the liquid. This may be the origin ...

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