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: Bacteria manipulate salt to build shelters to hibernate

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ganymede may harbor 'club sandwich' of oceans and ice

May 01, 2014

(Phys.org) —The largest moon in our solar system, a companion to Jupiter named Ganymede, might have ice and oceans stacked up in several layers like a club sandwich, according to new NASA-funded research ...

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.

Let's put a sailboat on Titan

Apr 16, 2014

The large moons orbiting the gas giants in our solar system have been getting increasing attention in recent years. Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is the only natural satellite known to house a thick atmosphere. ...

Cassini nears 100th Titan flyby with a look back

Mar 06, 2014

(Phys.org) —Ten years ago, we knew Titan as a fuzzy orange ball about the size of Mercury. We knew it had a nitrogen atmosphere—the only known world with a thick nitrogen atmosphere besides Earth. But ...

Recommended for you

Bacteria manipulate salt to build shelters to hibernate

3 hours ago

For the first time, Spanish researchers have detected an unknown interaction between microorganisms and salt. When Escherichia coli cells are introduced into a droplet of salt water and is left to dry, b ...

How do we terraform Venus?

3 hours ago

It might be possible to terraform Venus some day, when our technology gets good enough. The challenges for Venus are totally different than for Mars. How will we need to fix Venus?

Biomarkers of the deep

5 hours ago

Tucked away in the southwest corner of Spain is a unique geological site that has fascinated astrobiologists for decades. The Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB) in Spain's Río Tinto area is the largest known deposit ...

Image: Chandra's view of the Tycho Supernova remnant

6 hours ago

More than four centuries after Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe first observed the supernova that bears his name, the supernova remnant it created is now a bright source of X-rays. The supersonic expansion of ...

User comments : 0