Titan may harbor huge ocean beneath its frozen surface

April 26th, 2011 - 7:27 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, April 26 (ANI): A new study has suggested that Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, might have a huge liquid ocean below its frozen dune covered surface.

Researcher Rose-Marie Baland and colleagues from the Royal Observatory of Belgium came to their conclusions after examining seven years worth of data from the Cassini spacecraft as it monitored Titan’s orbit and rate of rotation.

They found Titan’s moment of inertia, the amount of energy needed to stop its movement, is about 50 percent higher than it should be for a solid body, reports ABC Science.

This can only be explained if Titan is denser near its surface than its center- something the researchers say isn’t possible based on their current understanding about how planets and moons form.

Another explanation could be that Titan isn’t completely solid, but contains a huge ocean beneath its frozen methane soaked surface, said the researchers.

The study has been published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. (ANI)

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