liquid methane on titan

"It's a marvelous feat of exploration that we're doing extraterrestrial oceanography on an alien moon," said Steve Wall, Cassini radar team deputy lead. Titan is the largest moon of the planet Saturn. Titan is the only other place in the solar system besides Earth that has stable liquid on its surface. Using data obtained by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft before that mission ended in 2017 […] Scientists on Monday provided the most comprehensive look to date at one of the solar system’s most exotic features: prime lakeside property in the northern polar region of Saturn’s moon Titan — if you like lakes made of stuff like liquid methane. In the atmosphere of Titan, nitrogen and methane react to produce a variety of organic molecules. Cassini scientists think there are liquid-filled lakes on Titan.
ESA / Science & Exploration / Space Science / Cassini-Huygens.

Scientists believe the heaviest of these molecules fall to the surface. Methane has a melting point of -182.5 degrees Celsius and a boiling point of 161.5 degrees Celsius. Titan is a dynamic place – the mammoth moon of Saturn boasts seasonal weather patterns, a thick nitrogen-based atmosphere and liquid seas of methane. Scientists think methane is at the heart of a cycle at Titan that is somewhat similar to the role of water in Earth's hydrological cycle - causing rain, carving channels and evaporating from lakes. Since the surface of Titan has a temperature between these two, methane would be a liquid .
Scientists think life is more likely to arise when liquid water is in contact with rock, and these measurements cannot tell whether the ocean bottom is made up of rock or ice. It is filled with liquid hydrocarbons, such as ethane and methane, and is one of the many seas and lakes that bejewel Titan's north polar region. The atmosphere of Titan is mostly nitrogen and its surface is composed of water ice, rocks, and rivers, lakes, and seas of liquid methane and ethane. 26/04/2016 17016 views 166 likes. The results have a bigger implication for the mystery of methane replenishment on Titan. And now it seems luck has struck again in the latest Titan discovery: the first ever directly-observed extra-terrestrial liquid drops.

Cassini has identified two forms of methane- and ethane-filled depressions that create distinctive features near Titan's poles. Profile of a methane sea on Titan. Titan is the largest of the 53 moons that orbit Saturn; in fact, it is the second largest moon in our solar system (only Jupiter’s Ganymede surpasses it). Methane on Titan plays the role of water on Earth, complete with liquid surface reservoirs, clouds and rain—a full-fledged methalogical cycle. But at Titan's frigid surface temperatures -- roughly minus 292 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 180 degrees Celsius) -- liquid methane and ethane, rather than water, dominate Titan's hydrocarbon equivalent of Earth's water. Rather than water, these lakes on Saturn's largest moon are made of liquid methane. Saturn’s largest moon is covered in seas and lakes of liquid hydrocarbons – and one sea has now been found to be filled with pure methane, with a seabed covered by a sludge of organic-rich material, and possibly surrounded by wetlands. But even with these features, the environment is very different to that of Earth’s, with surface temperatures averaging −179°C (94K). These lakes are the strongest evidence yet that Titan's surface and atmosphere have an active hydrological cycle. The presence of a subsurface layer of liquid water at Titan is not itself an indicator for life. It is the only moon known in the solar system to have a dense atmosphere and bodies of liquid on its surface.

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