At the Earth and Titan, the largest satellite of Saturn,There is one remarkable similarity - these are the only space objects in the solar system where there are liquid lakes and seas. While on our planet they are filled with fresh or salt water, on Titan they consist of methane and ethane with a temperature of about minus 170-180 degrees Celsius. Recently, two groups of scientists have studied the data of the Cassini apparatus and discovered an interesting feature of Titan - it has not only small lakes that dry up quickly, but also deep reservoirs formed thousands of years ago.
The study of small lakes took the group underled by Shannon Mackenzie. They worked with data collected by a VIMS spectrometer and an Imaging Science Subsystem tool. Three lakes, which they observed in winter, had already disappeared by spring - they were small ponds that evaporated or absorbed into the surface of the satellite. Channels that can feed these small ponds, the apparatus "Cassini" could not be found, since their size hardly exceeds 300 meters.
Marco Mastrojuseppe's group, in turn,studied the deep lakes based on data collected by the RADAR tool during the Cassini rapprochement with Titan in April 2017. These bodies of water up to 100 meters deep consist mainly of methane, and thus differ from the largest on the southern hemisphere of Titan, Lake Ontario, which contains an equal amount of methane and ethane. The landscape of the satellite suggests that these lakes were formed thousands of years ago and continue to grow due to heavy rains and minimal outflow.
Every time we make discoveries on Titan,he is becoming more and more mysterious. However, new discoveries help to answer many questions that interest us and to understand the hydrology of the satellite of Saturn.
Marco Mastrodzhiozeppe, Head of Research
In the future, the space agency NASA intends tosend to the satellite of Saturn the submarine, which will fall to the depths of its seas. In 2018, a pool filled with methane and ethane was used to test it.
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