Rivers Flow On Saturn’s Titan

By Nick Venable | 8 years ago

Did you ever sit outside on a cloudless night, staring at that big glowing orb, thinking back to all the time, money and effort spent studying and traveling to it? Just sitting back in amazement, thinking, “What a big piece of boring crap. Why can’t we have cool moons like Jupiter and Saturn? Why doesn’t anyone love me?” I totally have moon envy, if that isn’t obvious. Also, low self-esteem, but that’s for the other website I write for, Sad Freakin Robot.

Titan, Saturn’s well-studied satellite, is known for its stormy weather, polar seas, and a terrain that boasts hills, valleys, and plains much like Earth. Of course, it’s distance from the sun means temperatures reach -290 degrees Fahrenheit, so the rain and seas aren’t composed of water, but liquid hydrocarbons like ethane and methane.This leads to much confusion over why it hasn’t already been nicknamed “the cow fart moon.” Anyway, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft released pictures of a previously undiscovered river valley flowing through Titan’s north polar region.

river

“Titan is the only place we’ve found besides Earth that has a liquid in continuous movement on its surface,” said Steve Wall, the radar deputy team lead, based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Its existence at all is no mean feat, but this river stretches for over 200 miles from sea to shining sea. Jani Radebaugh, a Cassini radar team associate at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, said “Such faults – fractures in Titan’s bedrock — may not imply plate tectonics, like on Earth, but still lead to the opening of basins and perhaps to the formation of the giant seas themselves.”

I’m rather afraid of what might be living inside of a methane lake. Oh look, there’s a small rowboat adrift, with a young girl inside. Boy, things are peaceful now, and…holy shit, what is that?!? You know, assuming Jason goes back to space in another 20 years.

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