Titan’s Floating Surface

This is not breaking news, as it dates back to March of this year, but I was excited to read about it earlier this morning. The Cassini team issued a report last March that demonstrated the evidence of a liquid ocean beneath the surface crust of Saturn’s moon Titan. The interesting revelation is that this ocean is thought to be “global” on the moon, and as such indicates that the entire surface crust of Titan is decoupled from the interior of the planet, floating on this ocean. The evidence for this is based on the measurements of how Titan’s crust slides as a result of forces exerted by its atmosphere, as much as a .36 degree shift measured over the course of a year. That is considered to be pretty significant movement.

There is a great article about this at , and it reports that the empirical evidence of the ocean on TItan, already long suspected by scientists, lends credence to the theory that several other icy bodies in our solar system also have hidden interior oceans. Jupiter’s moons Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede are the most probable candidates for this phenomenon. The image above illustrates the proportion of the internal make-up of several of these satellites, and the relationship between these proportions and the existence of an internal ocean. It is thought by scientists that the existence of oceans in icy satellites may be a common occurance in our solar system.

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