Astronomers measure the depth of Titan’s largest methane sea

Astronomers at Cornell University have calculated that the depth of the sea near the center of Saturn’s moon Titan is at least 0.3 km: enough to study it in a robotic submarine.

The depth and composition of each of Titan’s seas have already been measured, except for the largest: it contains about 80% of the surface fluids of the moon.

Earlier, the Cassini mission measured the depth of water bodies on Titan, as well as their composition: the mission pointed the radar at objects and watched how easily it passes through them.

It turned out that the depth of the small Sinus Sea, which is located on Titan, is 85 m. And the largest Kraken Sea could not be measured because it was too deep. Both reservoirs consisted of a mixture of ethane and methane, the second component predominated.

One of the mysteries about the origin of liquid methane: Titan’s sunlight is about 100 times less intense than Earth’s. Therefore, methane in the atmosphere is constantly being converted to ethane. Within about 10 million years, this process will completely deplete Titan’s surface reserves, scientists say.

Now scientists have analyzed all the data from the Cassini mission and believe that the deepest sea of ​​Titan is about 0.3 km at its lowest point. And in terms of volume, the Kraken Sea is comparable to the sum of the five Great Lakes, which are located in North America, in the United States and Canada. Scientists speculate that the Titan Sea could be explored in a robotic submarine.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
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Alexandr Ivanov

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