Space

Summer has come on Saturn’s moon

On Titan, Saturn’s largest satellite, there ischanging seasons. When the Cassini spacecraft flew to it in 2004, it was summer on its surface - clouds and precipitation in the southern hemisphere showed this. According to the calculations of astronomers, the next summer on Titan should have come in 2017, but this, for unknown reasons, did not happen. Despite the signs of summer coming in 2014, the delay lasted for about two years - the device noticed precipitations only now.

About the onset of summer, scientists learned during the studytaken by the Cassini machine images. On one of them, made in June 2016, a satellite plot with an area of ​​120,000 square kilometers was captured. This area reflects the light, that is, on the surface there is a huge puddle left after rain. It should be emphasized that there are not “boring” earthly rains on Titan - precipitation consists of liquid methane. Scientists suggest that the puddle is made not on a smooth surface, but on bumps.

Scientists have concluded that summer is still on Titancame, but with some delay. At the moment they are trying to understand the reason for the delay when changing the season. When it becomes clear, the researchers will make adjustments to the climate model of the satellite they created.

We want our model predictionsconsistent with our observations. Detection of precipitation proves that the climate of the satellite corresponds to our theoretical models. Summer has arrived. Belatedly, but it has arrived. We will have to figure out what caused the delay.

Rajani Dingra, lead author

Scientists want to know the exact schedule of shiftsseasons on the satellite of Saturn, as this data can help in improving the atmospheric models of distant exoplanets. Also Titan is interesting to scientists because it is one of the space objects suitable for life.

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