Saturday, March 22, 2008

‘Earth-Like’ Moon May Have Underground Ocean

There’s something strange happening on the surface of Saturn’s moon, Titan. Studying data collected by the Cassini space probe (currently sweeping the Saturn system), mission scientists are finding that landmarks like lakes, canyons and mountains are moving around. This according to a NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) press release.

Not just a centimeter here or a millimeter there. Up to 19 miles over the last two years.

According to Cassini mission scientists, “A systematic displacement of surface features would be difficult to explain unless the moon's icy crust was decoupled from its core by an internal ocean.”

Scientists believe an ocean of water and ammonia is sloshing 62 miles beneath Titan’s icy surface. With its dense atmosphere (1.5 times as dense as Earth’s), dunes, methane lakes, mountains, canyons and other familiar features, planetary researchers believe Titan has the most “Earth-like” surface of any planet or moon in the solar system.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.