Astronomy Picture of the Day



Liquid Sea on Saturn's Titan

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zorg.ch
#101203 by @ 31.05.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
Liquid Sea on Saturn's Titan


Explanation:

What is this vast dark region on Titan?

Quite possible a sea of liquid
hydrocarbons.

The region was imaged earlier this month when the robotic
Cassini spacecraft swooped past Saturn's cloudy moon and illuminated part of it with radar.

The dark region in the
above image
reflected little radar, an effect expected were the
dark surface relatively flat, as expected for a liquid.

Other indications that the vast dark area is liquid include the
coastline-like topology of the brighter regions,
which appear to include islands, inlets,
and tributary channels.

The uninterrupted smoothness of much of the dark sea may indicate that the sea runs deep,
with speculation
holding a depth estimate of tens of meters.

A hydrocarbon sea on
Titan
holds particular interest for
exobiologists
as it might be a place where life could develop.

In 2005 the Huygens probe landed on Titan and returned the
first surface images.

Cassini will continue to explore Titan, as 13
more flybys are planned.




Credit & Copyright
zorg.ch
#101343 by @ 05.06.2007 04:35 - nach oben -
ohh, döt gits jo öl.