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Ocean on Saturn's moon Titan could be as salty as Earth's Dead Sea

Ocean on Saturn's moon Titan could be as salty as Earth's Dead Sea

July 4, 2014 - Scientists analyzing data from NASA's Cassini mission have firm evidence the ocean inside Saturn's largest moon, Titan, might be as salty as Earth's Dead Sea. The new results come from a study of gravity and topography data collected during Cassini's repeated flybys of Titan during the past 10 years. Using the Cassini data, researchers presented a model structure for Titan, resulting in an improved understanding of the structure of the moon's outer ice shell. The findings are published in this week's edition of the journal Icarus.

"Titan continues to prove itself as an endlessly fascinating world, and with our long-lived Cassini spacecraft, we're unlocking new mysteries as fast as we solve old ones," said Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, who was not involved in the study.


Additional findings support previous indications the moon's icy shell is rigid and in the process of freezing solid. Researchers found that a relatively high density was required for Titan's ocean in order to explain the gravity data. This indicates the ocean is probably an extremely salty brine of water mixed with dissolved salts likely composed of sulfur, sodium and potassium. The density indicated for this brine would give the ocean a salt content roughly equal to the saltiest bodies of water on Earth.

"This is an extremely salty ocean by Earth standards," said the paper's lead author, Giuseppe Mitri of the University of Nantes in France. "Knowing this may change the way we view this ocean as a possible abode for present-day life, but conditions might have been very different there in the past."

Cassini data also indicate the thickness of Titan's ice crust varies slightly from place to place.


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NASA's Cassini spacecraft data reveals salty ocean inside Saturn's moon Titan

Written by Tony Phillips Science at NASA Washington, D.C. - Scientists analyzing data from NASA's Cassini mission have firm evidence of an ocean inside Saturn's largest moon, Titan, which might be as salty as the Earth's Dead Sea. The findings are published in this week's edition of the journal Icarus.

NASA's Cassini Probe Unlocks New Mysteries on Saturn's Titan

"Titan continues to prove itself as an endlessly fascinating world, and with our long-lived Cassini spacecraft, we're unlocking new mysteries as fast as we solve old ones," said Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. JPL scientists analyzing data from NASA's Cassini mission have firm evidence the ocean inside...

Study Says Ocean on Titan may be as Salty as the Dead Sea

Saturn's moon Titan may have ocean as salty as the Dead Sea

Titan's Ocean Maybe Salty As The Dead Sea

Ocean Inside Saturn's Largest Moon Is Likely as Salty as the Dead Sea


( via sciencedaily.com )


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