Saturn’s Largest Moon, Titan, Presents A Mysterious Lakes Disappearing Phenomenon


Saturn has a big moon named Titan that could easily resemble the early history of our planet in a parallel Universe. Titan is mysterious enough to make the scientists take a closer look on its surface. Also, it’s the only planet that we know about with present liquid on its surface. It has its water cycle and glistering lakes, but not everything is how it seems. The water it contains isn’t pure H20 like on our planet; instead most of the liquid contains methane.

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has studied Titan with the help of Radar instruments and infrared imager. The study focused on Titan’s northern pole, where the methane lakes are present. The team of researchers from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory had used NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to study the images taken by Cassini in 2006. Titan has a 30 Earth year’s cycle to complete one year around the Sun, so every season last longer than we have on Earth.

Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, shows a mysterious lakes disappearing phenomenon

However, when the scientists returned to the same region in 2013, Titan had passed from winter to spring. If in 2006 they saw the presence of some particular dark patches across the northern surface containing liquid, in 2013, those patches were gone.

The research team believes that those disappearing lakes could be little ponds that appear due to the seasonal cycles and the way the climate is changing and the moments it approaches around the Sun. Also, if those lakes are existing only for a limited period, the idea that Titan could be another planet where life could exist fails a bit. Unfortunately, those lakes are nutrient-poor and can’t sustain life.

Summing up, with the help of NASA’s Cassini Radar, scientists have discovered that some of those northern lakes can have up to 100 meters in depth. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft mission was to observe Saturn from the moment it was launched in 1997, and it reached the planet in 2004. The spacecraft had observed for 13 years the planet and its moon, Titanic, until 2017 when was burned up in the atmosphere. But don’t you worry; NASA has a plan for Dragonfly, a little drone that will be sent to study Titan.


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