According to a new study that analyzed the Cassini probe’s data, issued in the Nature Geoscience journal, the renowned moon of Saturn, the second-largest planet in the solar system, Titan presents dust storm, just like the Earth and Mars.
One of Saturn’s moons, Titan, has what “appear to be gigantic dust storms” in the equatorial regions, according to data collected by the Cassini probe between 2004 and 2017, according to the European Space Agency (ESA).
“Titan is a very active satellite. Like the Earth, Titan is a mysterious world,” said Sebastien Rodriguez, an astronomer at Paris Diderot University and lead author of the article that reported the new finding. The post also says that Titan is the only moon in the Solar System with a substantial atmosphere and the single celestial body, apart from our planet, in which it is known that there are still solid masses of liquid on the surface.
Dust storms detected on Saturn’s moon Titan, making it similar to the Earth and Mars
While the Earth’s rivers, lakes, and seas are full of water, what flows through the Titan channels is mainly methane and ethane. In this unique cycle of methane, the hydrocarbon molecules evaporate, condense into clouds and fall back to the surface.
In 2009 Cassini probe took the first images of the “striking bright spots” on Titan’s equator in the infrared images. When Sebastien Rodriguez and his team analyzed the data, they observed methane clouds. But as they delved deeper into the research, they saw that it was something completely different.
“From what we know of the formation of clouds on Titan, we can say that such methane clouds, in that area and at that time of year, are physically impossible,” Sebastien Rodriguez said. As regarding the dunes of Titan’s equator, the only plausible explanation was that the Cassini-snapped dots were in fact clouds of dust that had risen from the dunes, the recent study reveals.