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: Holiday lights on the Sun: SDO imagery of a significant solar flare

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

Scientists 'map' water vapor in Martian atmosphere

8 hours ago

Russian scientists from the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), together with their French and American colleagues, have ...

Water fleas prepared for trip to space

13 hours ago

Local 'Daphnia' waterfleas are currently being prepared by scientists at the University of Birmingham for their trip to the International Space Station (ISS), where they will be observed by astronauts.

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.