US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Unexpectedly for themselves, astronomers have discovered yet another incredible secret of Titan – the satellite of Saturn. A new study says that Titan is the only celestial body known to us that contains reservoirs of liquid on its surface.
Titan, one of the 82 moons of Saturn. The satellite is so large that it is larger than the planet Mercury. Moreover, the characteristics of this moon are constantly confusing the scientific community. In the late 2000s, experts using NASA data called Cassini discovered strange bright spots on a large celestial body that literally stunned scientists.
However, subsequent observations greatly disappointed – the bright spots were in fact not water, but reservoirs of hydrocarbon. Here’s what this is said about in a new study published in the journal Nature:
“Observations of the surface of Titan provide a basis for the search for oceans on exogenous lands. A very important factor is that to identify liquid surfaces by specular reflections, a strict definition of these specular reflections is required.”
However, lakes and seas are concentrated near the poles of Titan, and not near the tropics, as one would expect from any celestial body. To solve this riddle, Jason Hofgartner from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, as well as his colleagues, again reviewed all archived data.
After correcting the discrepancies in the ways in which various observations referred to locations on Titan, the team realized that reflections arose from several specific points.
Researchers have found that only the smooth surface of lakes can produce such effects, not the effects of rainfall, dunes, or dry lakes. Today, NASA scientists do not deny that Titan may be the alleged haven for peculiar life forms.
In 2026, the space agency plans to send a helicopter probe titled Dragonfly to Titan, which is due to arrive on the moon in 2034 in order to make a historic flyby and possibly find evidence of the existence of alien life. The device will soar above the celestial body and from time to time sink to the surface, in order to collect samples.
Previous discoveries by the space agency found that Titanium is coated with a rich organic chemical that scientists say is similar to compounds that helped build life on Earth.
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