Saturn Moon Titan Has Earth Like Polar Winds

Posted: Jun 19 2015, 7:16am CDT | by , in News | Misc

 
Saturn Moon Titan Has Earth Like Polar Winds
ESA
  • Saturn Science: Solving the Titan Puzzle

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Science has uncovered new facts about the moon of Saturn, that is Titan. Solving the puzzle about whether it can host life or life-like conditions is something that is being looked into.

The moon of Saturn, Titan, has whole bodies filled with hydrocarbons in a liquid state. This in itself is cause for excitement. However, the corollary question that arises is what has caused the huge grooves these hydrocarbons flow through. The latest evidence points in the direction of sinkhole formation, a process that mimics the kind found on earth.

Besides our lonely planet, Titan is the only other solar body that has such seas and lakes in abundance. But the temperatures are freezing and so most of the methane and ethane that dominate the ecosystem instead of water are in a near solid state.

These methane and ethane rivers are found near the polar regions. Two kinds have been found to be extant by the Cassini probe mission. One consists of gigantic seas that are supplied by underground aquifers. Then there are the smaller lakes that have smooth edges and are a part of the plains.

There are deep areas that feature vacuums along the way too. It is indeed a fascinating and fabulous landscape. And the lakes and rivers are distinct in that they have very different sources and wellsprings.

Yet the question remains how the depressions got formed in the first place. It is a mystery. The scientists can only say this much that most of the lakes are similar to the “karstic” terrain found on our own spaceship earth. These geological phenomena are normally created by the wearing away of limestone and gypsum and the trickling of rainwater and groundwater through their bases.

Through eons of evolution, these semi-solid structures formed into sinkholes and grottos. Rocks, rainfall and varying temperatures go on to have an indelible impact on the geology. And while there is a world of difference between Titan and Earth, the basic means of change and transformation are pretty much the same.

Parts of Titan dissolve over time to form these surface features that are so prominent and noticeable. At least 50 million years are required before a sinkhole having a depth of 100 meters is formed on Titan. The process is much slower than it is on earth. But overall, the dynamics of the situational formation are not radically far off from the stuff that takes place on the third rock from the Sun.

Source: ESA , Space.com

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