No oceans on Titan, say researchers

Aug 04, 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: Japan launches new spy satellite

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cassini sails into new ocean adventures on Titan

Nov 11, 2014

(Phys.org) —NASA's Cassini mission continues its adventures in extraterrestrial oceanography with new findings about the hydrocarbon seas on Saturn's moon Titan. During a flyby in August, the spacecraft ...

Preparing for alien life

Nov 10, 2014

At a recent event sponsored by NASA and the Library of Congress, a group of scientists and scholars explored how we might prepare for the inevitable discovery of life beyond Earth.

Antifreeze on Titan could affect its chances for life

Jun 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 ...

A water ocean on Titan?

May 05, 2011

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

Ten years of Cassini

Sep 09, 2014

Ten years ago, the Cassini-Huygens mission entered the Saturnian System and in January 2005, the Huygens probe landed softly on the surface of Saturn's largest moon, Titan. These historic events, which revolutionized ...

Recommended for you

Japan launches new spy satellite

3 hours ago

Japan on Sunday successfully launched a back-up spy satellite, its aerospace agency said, after cancelling an earlier lift-off due to bad weather.

NASA launches satellite to measure soil moisture

3 hours ago

NASA on Saturday launched a new Earth-observing satellite that aims to give scientists high-resolution maps showing how much moisture lies in soil in order to improve climate forecasts.

Planck: Gravitational waves remain elusive

Jan 30, 2015

Despite earlier reports of a possible detection, a joint analysis of data from ESA's Planck satellite and the ground-based BICEP2 and Keck Array experiments has found no conclusive evidence of primordial ...

User comments : 0

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.