First waves seen outside of earth

2014-03-19 09:05

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Cape Town – A sequence of distinct ripples can be seen on the exterior surface of Titan, Saturn's moon.

According to the BBC the ripples were seen in one of Saturn’s seas called Punga Mare.

The curious aspect about these seas is that they are made up of hydrocarbons such as ethane and methane not water.

The carbons are in a liquid state because of the extreme temperatures present on Titan. The average temperature is -180°C.

Jason Barnes, a planetary scientist in Texas stated that Titan is a weird “looking glass” version of earth. The moon has wind, rain, seasons, rivers and shorelines.

Mountains present on the moon are made of ice instead of rock and the liquid carbons plays a similar role to the way water does on earth.

Titan’s lakes and its vast seas are concentrated so much with these gases that it is estimated that just one of these lakes, the Ligeia Mare could hold 9 000 cubic km of methane. That amount of gas translates to 40 times the amount of proven gas and oil present on earth.

Various images of Titan’s North Pole show that the surface liquid present there reflects the suns light. Another scientist from the University of Idaho, DR Barnes used a mathematical model to determine whether the images could be waves.

Dr Barnes believes that these waves could be the first waves ever viewed outside of earth.

He also noted that the waves could potentially be wet mudflat.

Dr Barnes calculated the waves to be just over 2cm high and notes that Titan may be at the point of a dramatic seasonal change, that would allow scientist to better understand the environment on the moon.

Read more on:    us  |  space  |  energy  |  environment
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