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Saturn's largest moon likely has an underground ocean

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posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 08:35 PM
Saturn's largest moon likely has an underground ocean

(Reuters) - NASA's Cassini spacecraft has found strong evidence for an ocean of water beneath the frozen crust of Saturn's largest moon Titan, scientists said Thursday.

he finding propels Titan into a short list of places including Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's smaller moon Enceladus suspected of harboring underground seas.

"The evidence is strong that Titan is squishy," said planetary scientist Jonathan Lunine, with Cornell University.

The evidence was put together during six passes over Titan by Cassini, which is orbiting Saturn, between 2004 and 2011. During the flybys, scientists measured minute changes in the pitch of radio signals passing between the spacecraft and Earth to figure how much Saturn's gravity deformed the moon.

They then turned to computer models to match a 10-meter (33-foot) distortion with possible scenarios to explain what was going on. The more solid the moon's interior, the less it would be impacted by Saturn's gravity.

"The measurement is pretty conclusive about the existence of an internal ocean," said lead researcher Luciano Iess, with Sapienza University in Rome, Italy.

Ever since I heard of the possibility of an ice covered ocean I've been waiting like a kid for the ice cream truck. I wish they'd stop talking about the "Possibility" and explore the moons already, at this rate I'll be dead and buried by the time they get up and melt a probe down to the ocean and release and ROV.

I wonder what it will look like and what they might find...?

posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 09:12 PM
Wonder whats living in that ocean?

Its crazy what we've learned in the last 100 years, imagine what we find in the next hundred.

edit on 28-6-2012 by synnergy because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 09:20 PM
reply to post by synnergy

That's what has always fired my imagination. Who knows what we'd find. I'm betting on most being very similar to what we find here on Earth at the bottom of our oceans by those black smoker vents. But, I'm sure if there is life some of them will be WOW moments when we see them for the first time.

edit on 28-6-2012 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 10:37 PM
One shameless bump then off into the Abyss

posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 03:59 AM
Good thread! S&F.

One possible scenario is that this water ocean is located between two subsurface layers of ice, one made of high-pressure ice and another decoupled icy shell:


posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 08:32 AM
Chances are your ocean is not filled with water, but with liquid methane or nitrogen.

It's not really a tropical paradise suitable for water ski and snorkeling.

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