Titan has tropical lakes

Mr. Barlow's Blog

The Caribbean it ain’t, but the “tropical” regions of Saturn’s moon Titan seem to harbour lakes of liquid methane. The pools are surprisingly long-lasting, suggesting that they may be replenished by underground wells of hydrocarbons.

With surface temperatures hovering around -183 degrees Celsius (-297 degrees Fahrenheit), Titan is far too cold to have liquid water. Instead, the lakes are filled with liquid hydrocarbons, such as methane and ethane.

The Cassini spacecraft confirmed the presence of liquid-hydrocarbon lakes in Titan’s polar regions in 2004, but it was unclear whether similar pools could survive in the moon’s marginally warmer lower latitudes – its “tropics” – without evaporating. Now, for the first time, Cassini images show dark regions that appear to be pools of hydrocarbons around the moon’s equator.

Such lakes might be good habitats for simple life, but Titan’s larger polar lakes remain better candidates. Learn more here, here or here

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