NASA‘s Cassini probe garnered evidence that Titan has a massive sub-surface ocean. The Cassini probe was launched in 1997 and reached Saturn in 2004. Its mission is to study the giant ringed planet and its satellites. Titan apart from being Saturn’s biggest moon is also the second largest moon in our solar system. Titan is also the only moon with a thick atmosphere, making it difficult to observe its surface and scientist are still uncovering the structures on its surface.
The scientist concluded there is a body of water on Titan by studying the gravitational changes on the tides of Titan measured by Cassini and whether it is consistent with a rocky or liquid subsurface. Rocky subsurface would produce tides in order of meters of height, but researchers found that the tides in Titan were ten times larger.
According to Sami Asmar, Cassini team member from NASA‘s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, “The presence of a liquid water layer in Titan is important because we want to understand how methane is stored in Titan’s interior and how it may outgas to the surface.”
The detection of large tides by Cassini leads to the conclusion of a hidden ocean on Titan. The search for water is a vital goal in space exploration and Titan is another place where water seems to be abundant.
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News source: www.thebunsenburner.com