Saturn’s moon is mystifying with Earth-like features
Titan, the largest moon of Saturn is the only known object in space with a dense atmosphere similar to Earth. Not only this, there are lists of similarities between this duos:
- Only object in space to have bodies of liquid on its surface, just like Earth
- Its atmosphere is largely nitrogen, just like Earth
- It has clouds and climate, with rains and winds, just like Earth
- With the seasonal patterns, it has lakes, dunes, rivers, deltas and even seas, just like Earth
all these processes are not fueling by Water cycle, just like Earth.
The answer is Hydrocarbons. NASA’s Cassini space probe had its first flyby of Titan on July 2004, revealing the images of methane clouds on poles and hydrocarbon lakes similar to that of Earth. The similarities are due to the hydrocarbon cycle analogous to the water cycle on Earth.
A recent study from the Cassini’s data found that the Titan’s hydrocarbon lakes on the northern polar region is surprisingly deep. The study reveals that some methane lakes are more than 300 feet deep where as some are seasonal as well as shallow.
All these new findings are increasing the possibility of life to harbor on this sea of hydrocarbon. Remember the methane sea from the movie Interstellar?
Written by M R Raghul
Journal Source: Nature Astronomy