Oh Titan, you ARE the most interesting moon out there, aren't you??
If only we could convince Saturn to let us have a better look!
Just a few weeks ago we were talking about the tropical oasis found on Titan, and now we're hearing something even more exciting: below those methane lakes and pools is an ocean… of normal water!
They found it by watching the moon being squeezed the closer it was to Saturn during its orbit… and then relaxing as it moved further way.
This squeezing can be measured, and depending on how flexible it is, we can infer how a planet (or moon) is deformed by tides.
A completely solid world would be a zero on this scale. A completely liquid one would be 1.5. The team that conducted the Cassini study calculated a .6 for Titan.
Here's what one of the scientists said:
"The density of Titan is consistent with a body that is about 60% rock and 40% water. The ocean must be fairly thick — a few hundred kilometers. And it must lie relatively close to the surface — beginning no farther down than 100 kilometers."
So how does it stay liquid being so far from the sun??
Well, bend a wire back and forth and it'll eventually get hot under the friction and strain.
Now do that with a planet (or moon)!
So when are we gonna Prometheus the hell out of Titan??
[Image via AP Images.]