According to new findings just published in this week’s edition of the journal Icarus, NASA’s Cassini Mission has brought to light new evidence of an actual ocean inside Titan, Saturn’s biggest moon. Furthermore, the ocean in question might even be as salt-laden as Earth’s Dead Sea.
This is but the latest discovery resulting from an analysis of data on topography and gravity gathered during the past decade. Scientists discovered that an extremely high density was needed for the surface ocean of Titan to explain the information on the gravity. This means that Titan’s ocean has to be a very “salty brine of water mixed with dissolved salts” like potassium, sodium or sulphur. The team also learned that density of Titan’s outer ice shell differs from spot to spot. This indicates that the shell is currently freezing solid.
The Cassini spacecraft is transporting the European Space Agency’s Huygens probe. It arrived in the Saturn space system back on June 30, 2004. It is presently considered one of the most enterprising missions ever rocketed into space. The Cassini space vehicle supports a significant group of cameras and other powerful instruments capable of documenting and recording comprehensive images and precise measurements under numerous different light spectrums and atmospheric conditions.
Giuseppe Mitri of the University of Nantes in France, the report’s lead author, notes that The Dead Sea is “an extremely salty ocean by Earth standards. Knowing this may change the way we view this ocean as a possible abode for present-day life, but conditions might have been very different there in the past.”
Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist, concluded: “Titan continues to prove itself an endlessly fascinating world. With our long-lived Cassini spacecraft, we’re unlocking new mysteries as fast as we solve old ones.”
Saturn’s Moon Titan Has Salty Sea