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: Cassini's search for the building blocks of life on Titan

Related Stories

Cassini's search for the building blocks of life on Titan

September 13, 2017

Lakes and seas of liquid methane, rain from hydrocarbon clouds, and evidence of poisonous hydrogen cyanide in the atmosphere of Titan were just some of the discoveries the Cassini probe made of Saturns's largest moon.

Pondering the Cassini Saturn mission's legacy

September 8, 2017

As the Cassini spacecraft nears the end of a long journey rich with scientific and technical accomplishments, it is already having a powerful influence on future exploration. In revealing that Saturn's moon Enceladus has ...

Recommended for you

Mountain glaciers shrinking across the West

October 22, 2017

Until recently, glaciers in the United States have been measured in two ways: placing stakes in the snow, as federal scientists have done each year since 1957 at South Cascade Glacier in Washington state; or tracking glacier ...

When words, structured data are placed on single canvas

October 22, 2017

If "ugh" is your favorite word to describe entering, amending and correcting data on the rows and columns on spreadsheets you are not alone. Coda, a new name in the document business, feels it's time for a change. This is ...

Dawn mission extended at Ceres

October 20, 2017

NASA has authorized a second extension of the Dawn mission at Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. During this extension, the spacecraft will descend to lower altitudes than ever before ...

Metacognition training boosts gen chem exam scores

October 20, 2017

It's a lesson in scholastic humility: You waltz into an exam, confident that you've got a good enough grip on the class material to swing an 80 percent or so, maybe a 90 if some of the questions go your way.

Carbon coating gives biochar its garden-greening power

October 20, 2017

For more than 100 years, biochar, a carbon-rich, charcoal-like substance made from oxygen-deprived plant or other organic matter, has both delighted and puzzled scientists. As a soil additive, biochar can store carbon and ...

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.