Seas on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, have disappeared, prompting astronomers to question why three bodies of liquid once seen by the Cassini spacecraft could have left that world. The seas are composed of liquid methane and ethane, and they were first seen by the Cassini spacecraft. When the orbiter returned for a second view, they were gone. When the seas were discovered, it was winter in the northern hemisphere of Titan, and they were gone in summer, prompting astronomers to speculate the seas may have been lost to evaporation and soaking into the surface of that world. Titan is the only body in the Solar System, other than the Earth, known to possess liquid seas at its surface.Read More Phantom Lakes Found on Titan Pose a Deep Question
Titan is the second-largest moon in the solar system, and the only one known to possess a thick atmosphere. Since it was first studied in detail by the Voyager 1 spacecraft in 1980, astronomers have wondered how the atmosphere of the largest moon of Saturn developed. Now, researchers have developed a theory that comets, which are rich in organic materials, may have deposited vast quantities of carbon-based chemicals just beneath the surface of Titan, where they were baked, releasing the nitrogen and methane seen in the atmosphere of Titan today.Read More Is Titan Baking its Own Atmosphere? Origin of Mysterious Gases Revealed
Evidence of rain has been spotted near the north pole of Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, for the first time ever, Since the arrival of the Cassini spacecraft at Saturn in 2004, astronomers have been expecting to see this phenomenon, which they expected to occur in 2016 or 2017. Titan is the second-largest moon in the Solar System, and is the only one known to possess a thick atmosphere, along with vast lakes and seas of liquid methane and ethane. These conditions make it one of the most-likely places to find life in our solar system. Currently, NASA is considering sending a drone, called Dragonfly, to the moon, to be launched in the year 2025.Read More Rain on Saturn’s Moon Titan Could Make this World the Life of the Party
The rings of Saturn are disappearing, new research has determined. Particles of rock and ice which make up this magnificent system of rings are falling into the atmosphere of the planet, draining the system of material. Astronomers estimate the rings will be completely gone in just 100 million years, so see them before they disappear forever!Read More Saturn is Losing its Rings – See them Before They’re Gone!
Microbes thrive under conditions like those seen on Saturn’s ocean moon of Enceladus. What does this mean for the search for extraterrestrial life?Read More Microbes Could be Right at Home on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus
NASA hopes to send a submarine to Titan to explore oceans of methane and ethane on the largest satellite orbiting Saturn. Here is the story of how researchers at WSU found ways of overcoming challenges with the mission.Read More Visiting the Vast Oceans of Titan with a NASA Submarine Just Got a Little Closer to Reality