What secrets are stored gravitational anomalies Titan?





Automatic Space Research apparatus “Cassini-Huygens” even after almost ten years since the beginning of its core mission continues to make interesting and sometimes even very surprising discoveries related to the planet Saturn and its moons. For example, a new analysis of the gravitational field of Titan, one of the moons of the planet and generally one of the most interesting moons in our solar system, has shown a very intriguing results.

The point is that by examining the gravitational field around Titan “Cassini” surprisingly found that in some areas the level of gravity higher and the other, on the contrary lower. In general, the surface elevation like mountains that are in the world, have a large mass compared to the valleys near which they are located, and thus have a greater gravitational attraction. On Titan, still, but exactly the opposite. Scientists attribute this to the fact that under the main ice-crusted moon are called prosloiny as a giant ice “bubbles” that make the difference between a gravitational field.

Titan is perhaps the only place in our solar system where the weather system is very similar to our earthly. On Titan it rains, there are rivers , lakes, oceans, mountains. Only the oceans and lakes (except for rain) it consists of methane, and the mountains are composed mainly of ice as the temperature on the surface of the moon is much colder than Earth. Due to the constant study of Titan, scientists have suspected that under his eternal ice may be the ocean of water.

Published in the scientific journal Nature findings suggest that Titan’s icy crust may in fact be much thicker than previously thought. The density of ice is lower than the density of liquid water that may explain these gravitational anomalies on the satellite, because the formation of ice will weigh less than they, but filled with water. Scientists believe that the thickness of the icy surface of Titan may actually be between 50 and 200 kilometers. In addition to this, it must be incredibly strong to hold under a more hiding underneath the ice formation. Indeed if the density of the ice is less than the density of the surrounding water, the ice will float to the surface. But Titan’s icy crust does not allow it.


From top to bottom: Weather conditions allow you to save the generated surface, hard ice shell keeps everything under it; permafrost creates a bubble inside the ice, low density bubble shell creates abnormal changes in the power of attraction

“In other words, it looks as if a big beach ball was placed in water and pressed the huge and incredibly durable layer of ice” – writes Douglas Hemiguey, lead author of the study.

“If under the surface of Titan are really hidden giant bubbles, its outer ice shell should really be incredibly durable enough to withstand the pressure.”

“If these findings are correct, then such a shell thickness of the Moon makes it virtually impossible to reduce ice volcanoes, which falsely testified before other researchers,” – said in a NASA.

“In addition to this, the new research suggests that Titan’s icy crust is so strong that it is not affected by plate tectonics,” – added to the space agency.

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Tags: Titan , Cassini , Discovery .

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