Saturday, October 21, 2017
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Astronomers discover signs of waves on Titan


Posted on Tuesday, 18 March, 2014 | Comment icon 12 comments

Saturn's moon Titan. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Saturn's enigmatic moon Titan could be home to the first known ocean waves outside of the Earth.
While on our own planet we have lakes, oceans and rain made of liquid water, on Titan these same features exist but are instead made of liquid methane, ethane and other hydrocarbons due to the moon's thick atmosphere and freezing temperatures.

Now scientists believe that they may have spotted the first signs that the seas of Titan share another feature common to Earth's oceans. Glints of light picked up from the surface by NASA's Cassini spacecraft suggest that Titan's hydrocarbon oceans may also produce their own waves and ripples, albeit on a much smaller scale.

"Titan may be beginning to stir," said planetary scientist Ralph Lorenz. "Oceanography is no longer just an Earth science."

Source: Nature.com | Comments (12)

Tags: Titan, Saturn

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by paperdyer on 18 March, 2014, 19:37
If life is on Titan, I wonder what it would be based on. We're based on carbon, so maybe Silicon?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Sundew on 18 March, 2014, 20:27
Surfs up, but don't forget your wet suit. Liquid methane is a bit chilly.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Rhino666 on 18 March, 2014, 20:41
I can't see anyone wanting to swim in it. Look for things more interesting like martian pooh and traffic wardens.
Comment icon #6 Posted by AZDZ on 18 March, 2014, 20:52
Cowabunga, dude!
Comment icon #7 Posted by JustTerri on 18 March, 2014, 21:30
That's incredible.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Uncle Sam on 19 March, 2014, 3:45
I wonder would this planet be suitable for habitation if it was terraformed and transported to an stable orbit near Earth... Image making it orbit around Earth like the Moon but with rotation, but it is habitable unlike the moon. That would be an awesome sight.
Comment icon #9 Posted by ninjadude on 20 March, 2014, 2:12
I wonder would this planet be suitable for habitation if it was terraformed and transported to an stable orbit near Earth... Image making it orbit around Earth like the Moon but with rotation, but it is habitable unlike the moon. That would be an awesome sight. It would likely explode. As it moves to earths orbit around the sun, it would be warmed significantly from the several hundred degrees below zero currently. The hydrocarbon lakes would sublimate into gas and the atmosphere would just take a spark to explode. Whatever rocks and ice that hold it together would also loosen and it would fly... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 20 March, 2014, 2:37
It would likely explode. As it moves to earths orbit around the sun, it would be warmed significantly from the several hundred degrees below zero currently. The hydrocarbon lakes would sublimate into gas and the atmosphere would just take a spark to explode. Whatever rocks and ice that hold it together would also loosen and it would fly apart. This is total and utter nonsense. Methane and ethane will only burn in the presence of oxygen. As there is no oxygen in the atmosphere of Titan you can warm it up as much as you like and it won't burn, never mind explode.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 20 March, 2014, 2:43
If life is on Titan, I wonder what it would be based on. We're based on carbon, so maybe Silicon? Why silicon when Titan has oceans of hydrocarbons? Silicon based life is a great staple of science fiction, but it not very likely. Silicon simply does not form the complex molecules that carbon does and such complex molecules are needed for life. Life of any kind is unlikely on Titan because of the extremely low temperatures. The colder the temperature the slower the chemical reaction. At the sort of temperatures found on Titan the sort of chemical reactions for any sort of life we would recognis... [More]
Comment icon #12 Posted by qxcontinuum on 20 March, 2014, 13:53
There is much more regular peeps don't know about Titan. It is the only satellite and celestial body having a dense atmosphere as earth with primordial earth like conditions before life. It is well known that Titan's surface is covered by water, ice and rock so the waves could be liquid water as well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titan_(moon) If i want to find life in our solar system, i surely go on titan first then on mars. Here is how it looks like from out of space. Very much similar to earth.


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

6010347
258479
170308

 
NASA's ion thruster breaks propulsion records
10-21-2017
The prototype thruster could one day propel the first Mars astronauts all the way to the Red Planet.
Fear of snakes 'is of evolutionary origin'
10-21-2017
A new study in Germany has suggested that we are born with an innate fear of snakes and spiders.
9.7 million-year-old hominin teeth discovered
10-20-2017
The surprising find has the potential to completely rewrite everything we know of early human history.
Flying insect numbers drop by 75% in 27 years
10-20-2017
A new study has highlighted a huge reduction in the number of flying insects in Germany's nature reserves.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
One hundred million crabs
Posted 10-21-2017 | 2 comments
Christmas Island red crabs migrate in extreme numbers in this vintage BBC clip.
 
Recreating your face from DNA
Posted 10-18-2017 | 0 comments
Is it possible to determine someone's appearance from a sample of their DNA ?
 
Schlieren imaging in color
Posted 10-16-2017 | 2 comments
A look at Schlieren imaging - a technique that can help to visualize tiny differences in air.
 
Glowing creatures of the deep
Posted 10-15-2017 | 0 comments
This vintage clip sees Sir David Attenborough descending in to the dark depths of the sea.
 
Slow motion pellet split
Posted 10-14-2017 | 0 comments
The Slo Mo Guys attempt to split an air gun pellet with a knife to pop two balloons.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Sleep paralysis or real encounter?
10-18-2017 | United Kingdom
 
Ghost playing with a balloon?
10-18-2017 | Australia
 
Impossible phone call
10-18-2017 | West Virginia
 
Seeing cats
10-18-2017 | Santa Rosa
 
Fourth of July UFO show
10-18-2017 | Hillsboro ND
 
Guardian angel ?
9-13-2017 | Middle of nowhere Iowa
 
I'm not normal, but I'm not alone
9-13-2017 | South Africa
 
When I was very little
9-13-2017 | Sturgis So.Dakota
 
Weird light orbs and chills
9-13-2017 | Poland
 
Unexplained light flashes
8-30-2017 | Louisiana
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com © 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ