搜索
当前位置:首页 >探索 >【】

【】

发表于 2024-07-25 02:09:50 来源:粉妝玉砌網

Earth isn't the only world in the solar system with active lakes, rivers, and oceans. 

About 880 million miles away in space, Saturn's largest moonTitan is also flush with surface liquid that evaporates, forms clouds in its hazy atmosphere, and rains. Despite this seemingly similar hydrology, the two planetary bodies couldn't be more different: Titan's oceans are made of methane and ethane — not water. Though people tend to think of those chemicals as gasses, they act like liquids on this super-cold moon, like gasolineon Earth.

Despite NASA's Cassini spacecraft mapping more than 620,000 square miles of lakes and oceans on Titanbefore the end of its mission in 2017, much of how these alien seas behave remains a mystery. But a new studypublished in Science Advancessuggests that these liquids may indeed ripple, surge, and swell against Titan's shorelines, just as water does on Earth. 

Whether Titan's oceans are still or have waves has been debated for more than 15 years, said Rose Palermo, a geologist and lead author of the study. 

"Some people who tried to see evidence for waves didn't see any, and said, 'These seas are mirror-smooth,'" Palermo said in a statement. "Others said they did see some roughness on the liquid surface but weren't sure if waves caused it."

Mashable Light SpeedWant more out-of-this world tech, space and science stories?Sign up for Mashable's weekly Light Speed newsletter.By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.Thanks for signing up!
SEE ALSO:NASA rover finds clear evidence of ancient waves, yes waves, on MarsTitan orbiting SaturnTitan, one of 146 known moons orbiting Saturn, is the planet's largest. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute

Using computer models to simulate different erosion mechanisms that occur on Earth, a team mostly composed of MIT geologists found that waves were the likely source of erosion to have formed the coastal shapes seen in Cassini's radar images. 

If Titan's oceans exhibit waves, that could give scientists insight into the moon's climate. They could then begin predicting the strength of wind on this world and infer what direction it's often blowing — factors that might be necessary to power such waves. 


Related Stories
  • Saturn's 'Death Star' moon has been keeping a big secret
  • Saturn apparently has 145 moons. So eat it, Jupiter.
  • Turns out Uranus might be swarmed by deep ocean worlds
  • This Saturn moon gushes water beyond scientists' wildest dreams
  • Water worlds in the galaxy could be 100 times more common than once thought

"If we could stand at the edge of one of Titan's seas," said coauthor Taylor Perron, in a statement, "we might see waves of liquid methane and ethane lapping on the shore and crashing on the coasts during storms."

In order to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that Titan's liquids are moving in waves, scientists will eventually need direct views of this activity. That may be possible in the next decade, when NASA's Dragonfly, a helicopter-like robotic spacecraft, arrives at the moon for exploration in 2034. The $3.35 billion mission is slated to launch in 2028. 

NASA has made the mission a priority because Titan's icy dunes appear to have the organic ingredients for life— the kinds that we know about, at least — to potentially emerge.

随机为您推荐
版权声明:本站资源均来自互联网,如果侵犯了您的权益请与我们联系,我们将在24小时内删除。

Copyright © 2016 Powered by 【】,粉妝玉砌網   sitemap

回顶部