No oceans on Titan, say researchers

August 4, 2005

There are no oceans on Saturn's moon Titan and flat areas of the satellite appear to be solid and dry, U.S. astronomers said.

The moon's atmosphere, containing methane and ethane, had prompted speculation that lakes or oceans of these chemicals might be found on Titan, reported the BBC Thursday.

"We infer mechanisms that produce very flat solid surfaces, involving a substance that was liquid in the past but is not in liquid form at the locations we studied," Robert West, of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, Calif., wrote in Nature.

The observations were focused on Titan's southern hemisphere, however, the northern region may contain pools of liquid organic material, the researchers said.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Juno mission scientists discuss Jupiter's mysteries

Related Stories

Juno mission scientists discuss Jupiter's mysteries

July 8, 2016

After nearly five years and 1.8 billion miles of space travel, NASA's Juno mission will arrive at Jupiter on July 4, 2016. Managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the spacecraft will orbit Jupiter for 20 months, completing ...

NASA sails full-speed ahead in solar system exploration

July 18, 2016

NASA's Juno is now poised to shine a spotlight on the origins and interior structure of the largest planet in our solar system. As we wait for Juno's first close-up images of Jupiter (to be taken Aug. 27 during the spacecraft's ...

Antifreeze on Titan could affect its chances for life

June 21, 2013

Scientists have found that a common antifreeze compound that might exist on Saturn's moon Titan can get trapped within ice-like cages. This discovery could influence our ideas about the evolution and development of life on ...

A water ocean on Titan?

May 5, 2011

Oddities in the rotation of Saturn's largest moon Titan might add to growing evidence that it harbors an underground ocean, researchers suggest.

Recommended for you

Mars gullies likely not formed by liquid water

July 29, 2016

New findings using data from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show that gullies on modern Mars are likely not being formed by flowing liquid water. This new evidence will allow researchers to further narrow theories about ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.