National Geographic reports that scientists have made a new discovery that brings us closer to unveiling the mystery of the universe. Based on the images provided by a NASA spacecraft, Saturn moon, Titan might be endowed with a huge tropical lake and numerous marshes of liquid methane.
After analyzing the recent images made by their spacecraft, NASA has discovered that the surface of the Saturn moon called Titan could include organic molecules that are necessary for life to exist on other planets. They ground their supposition on the fact that recent bodies of liquid have been discovered on its surface.
The recent images were not the only ones to confirm the existence of liquids on the surface of Titan. NASA’s Cassini orbiter has previously registered images proving that the poles of the frigid moon are covered with hundreds of lakes.
Scientists, however, have explained that the temperature is too cold for Titan to have liquid water. Given that the temperature hovers around -297 degrees Fahrenheit (-183 degrees Celsius), it is more likely that Saturn’s moon is filled with liquid hydrocarbons, such as methane and ethane.
Thanks to the footage that was received this week, scientists at NASA were able to distinguish new pools of hydrocarbons around Titan’s equator. The liquid is represented on the images as dark regions. According to study leader Caitlin Griffith, the moon’s tropical lake could be as big as the Great Salt Lake in Utah, that is, 2,400 square kilometers or 927 square miles. The lake could be at least a meter deep, but scientist need more evidence to support their claim. Researches have also shown that many other small and shallow ponds may be present on Titan. They seem to have knee- to ankle-level depths, which is why they have been compared to marshes on Earth.
Although the moon cannot have liquid water, it appears to be rich in methane and ethane. The main proof in this sense is the existence of polar lakes whose appearance is believed to have been determined by subterranean sources of methane.