Just the other day, experts revealed the very first global geological map of Saturn’s moon Titan. This includes vast plains and dunes of frozen organic material and lakes of liquid methane.
This paints a pretty exotic world that has already been considered as a strong candidate in the search for life beyond Earth.
Radar, infrared and more data built the map
This map was based on radar, infrared, and more data that has been previously collected by the space agency NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.
It’s worth noting that it has studied Saturn and its moons from 2004 to 2017.
Titan has a diameter of 3,200 miles (5,150 km), and it’s the Solar System’s second-biggest moon after Jupiter’s Ganymede. Science Alert, who also reported the news, notes that it is larger than the planet Mercury.
It’s also essential to note the fact that some organic materials, carbon-based compounds, are critical for fostering life, and all these play a vital role on Titan.
Science Alert cites Reuters and notes: “Organics are very important for the possibility of life on Titan, which many of us think likely would have evolved in the liquid water ocean under Titan’s icy crust,” according to planetary geologist Rosaly Lopes of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.
Lopes continued and noted that “Organic materials can, we think, penetrate down to the liquid water ocean and this can provide nutrients necessary for life, if it evolved there.”
Lopes also led the research which was published in the journal Nature Astronomy.
Amazing descriptions about Titan
Here on our beloved planet, the water rains down from the clouds and fills our rivers, oceans, and lakes. But on Titan, it’s been revealed that clouds “spew hydrocarbons like methane and ethane – which are gases on Earth – in liquid form due to the moon’s frigid climate.”
Plains and dunes dominate Titan’s mid-latitudes and equatorial regions.
You should also definitely check out the study.