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)