Scientists May Have Finally Discovered Waves on Saturn's Moon Titan
J Thoendell stashed this in Space
According to planetary scientist Jason Barnes, unusual reflections off the surface of one of the moon's hydrocarbon seas, Punga Mare, could have been caused by ripples across the lunar ocean's surface. Punga Mare is made up of gases like methane and ethane, which exist in their liquid forms on Titan's -180 Celsius surface. Barnes examined images captured by NASA's Cassini mission in 2012 and 2013 and presented his findings at this year's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
I studied quite a lot Titan this year, so I have a little comment to make. : )
Yes it's a cool "first", but it was evident.
We already knew, at least the poles, of Titan are covered with hydrocarbon lakes (mainly methane CH4, in fact there is a CH4 cycle there, like we have an H2O cycle on Earth: CH4 seas, CH4 clouds, CH4 rains! ). We also already knew that Titan has an extremely complex and dense atmosphere with a lot of movements.
So when you mix big liquid surfaces, with wind, you obviously have waves.
Still a fun thing to observe, and a nice angle to interest the public about one of the most interesting and promising moons of our solar system. : D
Thank you for that perspective, Oce.
It makes Titan potentially inhabitable:
Methane lakes do not sound habitable, though. But the waves sound cool.