WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Scientists unveiled Monday the first worldwide geological map of Saturn's moon Titan, which contains vast plains and dunes of frozen organic material and lakes of liquid methane, illuminating an exotic world as a strong candidate for search after life in the hereafter earth applies.
The map was based on radar, infrared, and other data collected by the Cassini NASA spacecraft, which surveyed Saturn and its moons from 2004 to 2017. Titan is the second largest solar system with a diameter of 5,150 km. biggest moon behind Jupiter's Ganymede. It's bigger than the planet Mercury.
Organic materials – carbon-based compounds that are essential for the delivery of living organisms ̵
"Organic materials can, we believe, penetrate into the liquid-water ocean, and this can provide vital nutrients when it's developed there," Lopes added, adding that in the journal Nature Astronomy published researches.
On the earth, water rains from clouds and fills rivers, lakes and oceans, clouds of coal spit on Titan substances such as methane and ethane – the gases on earth – in liquid form due to the cold moon climate.
Titan is raining everywhere, but the equatorial regions are drier than the poles. Author Anezina Solomonidou, research associate of the European Space Agency.
Levels (covering 65 percent of the surface) and dunes (covering 17 percent of the surface) consisting of frozen methane and other hydrocarbons dominate the middle latitudes and equatorial regions of titanium.
Titan is the only other object of the solar system than the Earth, which has stable surface fluids, with lakes and seas full of methane being the main features in its polar regions. Hilly and mountainous areas, which are believed to represent exposed portions of the water-ice titanium crust, account for 14 percent of the surface's mingling with water in the deep ice crust or deep subterranean ocean, "said the JPL scientist. Co-author Michael Malaska "Could it or something in Titan live deep in the crust or in the ocean where the temperatures are a bit warmer?"
The map was created seven years before the US space agency wants to launch its Dragonfly mission to ship a multi-rotor drone to investigate Titan's chemistry and fitness for life Dragonfly to reach Titan in 2034.
"It's not just scientifically important, it's also really cool – a drone flying around on Titan" Lopes said, "It's going to be really exciting."
(coverage by Will Dunham, editor of Tom Brown)
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