Saturday, May 7, 2011

Ocean is on Saturn

Could Saturn's largest moon, Titan, has a giant ocean below its surface? At least this is the opinion of the researchers from the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels. The team used radar from the space shuttle from NASA's Cassini to 'peek' behind the thin atmosphere of Titan. They found some parts of Titan's surface shifted to 19 miles. According to them, this shift is due to Titan's surface is above the liquid form of water and ammonia.

Besides Earth, Titan is known to have liquid on its surface. If the alleged 'underground ocean' is proven true, this will increase the chances of that month had a life. Not only that, based on data transmitted by Cassini, Titan's rotation axis is also experiencing a shift to 0.3 degrees. According to the research team, this shift in the axis of rotation to be evidence that Titan is not completely made of hard or solid material.

Titan would allegedly have a shell of ice that is above sea water, ice caps and the center of the frozen and rocky planets. One researcher, Rose-Marie Baland, said, "These findings turn from what we know about the planets and other satellites as well as the process of planet formation."

However, researchers also consider other possibilities if Titan was hit by a comet or asteroid recently, causing the rotational axis shift. But apparently they are still determined to prove that Titan is hiding a giant ocean below its surface. They indicated that the sea has a depth of 3 to 265 miles.

"Our analysis strengthens the possibility that the ocean beneath Titan's surface stores. But it was not yet certain. So there are still many job we had to do," said Marie.

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