UK & World News
Shock Discovery On Saturn's Biggest Moon
Scientists have made the surprise discovery of a methane-rich lake near the equator of Saturn's largest moon.
Lakes have previously been spotted near Titan's polar regions but it was thought that bodies of liquid could not exist near the tropics because they would evaporate.
"This discovery was completely unexpected because lakes are not stable at tropical latitudes," said planetary scientist Caitlin Griffith of the University of Arizona, who led the discovery team.
It suggests that there may be an underground source of methane that periodically vents to the surface, and could explain why the chemical is abundant in Titan's atmosphere.
"Titan may have oases," Ms Griffith added.
The research and its findings are detailed in the Nature science journal.
By measuring reflected sunlight from Titan's surface and atmosphere, the international Cassini spacecraft detected a dark region near the landing site of Huygens, a probe that parachuted to Titan's equator in 2005.
Scientists said analysis of the dark area suggests the presence of a 927-square-mile hydrocarbon lake, more than 150 times larger than Windermere, Britain's biggest natural lake.
Near the tropical lake were hints of four shallow ponds similar in size and depth to marshes on Earth.
Titan is among the few bodies in the solar system with a dense atmosphere.
The methane gas there is constantly broken up by sunlight and falls to the surface where it is transported back to the poles, condensing to form lakes.
Scientists do not believe this process created the lakes and ponds at the equator, and are now examining the possibility of a subterranean source.
what do you think?
"It suggests that there may be an underground source of methane that periodically vents to the surface,"..........yeah, well I've got one of those too and believe me, it's not a good thing especially when there's other people round! :-)
ha ha yeah Dawson my better half has as well. !!!!!!!!!!
Blimey I thought me and my dog were the only ones with those!!! Who'd have known.....thank heavens for science!!
what ? scientists got it wrong !!!! you mean the big bang THEORY could be wrong,, the evolutionary THEORY could be wrong ( there are three of them !)
I think it actually says they've discovered something new and are now processing that information. Not quite sure what that has to do with the Big Bang or eveolution on a distant planet?
I suppose God created the lakes then?
The big bang It's not a theory anymore they've sort of proven that one a while back using SCIENCE well using a space telescope actually . And as for intelligent design why do whales have the remains of a pelvis? and why do humans have the remains of a tail? What ever theory you want life on earth evolved if I was to be honest I would like the ancient astronaut theory to be the real one because it would upset a hell of a lot of people
Send Captain Larry Dart to investigate in galasphere 347
Yup! Life's a gas on Titan!
Wow! They have found a lake billions of miles away that we can't get to nor do they fully understand how it was created. Great stuff!!! And this helps people on this planet how? What a spectacular waste of money.
It means there are shed loads more natural resources in the solar system that can be mined/harvested. Humanity needs to become a multi planet race Now that America's private sector have started to begin space exploration through companies like spacex, blue origin,orbital sciences providing logistics for the ISS and planetary resources inc. Who plan to mine asteroids so That getting to places like Titan are more achievable for the big agencies like NASA, ESA and the Russians so its not really a waste of Money in the long run
Well Greg maybe you'd like to return to the primordial ooze? What a spectacular silly comment.
Agreed if you don't understand the science Greg then get back to Big Brother or TOWIE.
An eres me thinkin they found a MCDONALDS or summat.
That lake belongs to Argentina, just ask their president. It was stolen from them by Saturn and they want it back NOW
I understand they are also preparing a claim for Mexico since that too was once occupied by Spain
Who are they going to complain to the federation doesn't exist yet?
Windermere ? Britain's largest lake ? Never heard of Lough Neagh, Loch Lomond or Loch Ness which has more water than all of England's lakes added together. You wouldn't be confusing Britain with England, would you ?
Look its Orange you just have to humour them occasionally
der windermere is not a lake !! get your facts right please..!...it's all in the name .....mere
The methane cycle on Titan is similar to the water cycle on Earth, fascinating because as yet this is the only body a cycle such as this has been discovered. Mars did have long ago but not now. More missions to Titan and Enceladus please and the Jovian moons while your at it!
There's plenty to choose from
Whats the point thou waste of time if u ask me
Why Gavin? At the rate we are going earth will be come uninhabitable due to over population and over use of natural resources. 4 earths couldn't support our species. Humanity needs to become a multi planet race and at the same time wouldn't it be a good idea to try and find out if any of the other planets and moons in the solar system have life on them even if its just simple bacteria?
Being Orange I expected the story to be about finding a 2nd world war plane on Titan. Of course next week there would be 'Shock disappearance of plane on Titan'. Well the Sport tried it once.
...what stink. Lakes smelling of wind! (methane the gas we give off when we break wind)
the gas is from putrefaction of Jimmy Hoffa's body.
Does anyone know if theyve finally decided on the name for Pluto's 4th moon yet ? Theyve been deciding since 2011. . The favourite is Cerberus. . .
Titan should introduce a Methane hosepipe ban.
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My comment was removed for lack of humour.. Thanks Orange
Great find a planet producing methane gas, well get a shuttle rapid n send Camorron n co, they well suited to hot air n gas, keeps our planet greener
What do I think? I think this: it won't be too long before someone finds a reason to put a flag on Titan and tax all the methane on it.