Titan’s atmosphere is full of methane, which according to calculations should react with ultraviolet radiation from the sun to produce liquid ethane. Over time, the moon should have built up an ethane ocean hundreds of meters (1,500′-2,500′) deep instead of only a handful of polar lakes.
Is methane a solid on Titan?
It’s now known that Titan’s hydrologic cycle is surprisingly similar to Earth’s, with one big exception: the liquid on Titan is liquid methane/ethane instead of water, due to the extreme cold. … But to their surprise, they found that the lakes in the northern hemisphere are composed almost entirely of methane.
Does Titan have lakes of methane?
But Titan’s lakes aren’t filled with water: Instead, they’re full of oily ethane and methane, like liquified natural gas, per Gizmodo. The lakes have caught scientists’ attention because they are a strong contender for housing life beyond Earth.
How do we know there is methane on Titan?
The possibility of hydrocarbon seas on Titan was first suggested based on Voyager 1 and 2 data that showed Titan to have a thick atmosphere of approximately the correct temperature and composition to support them, but direct evidence was not obtained until 1995 when data from Hubble and other observations suggested the …
Does Titan have oxygen?
Titan also has a presence of organic molecules that contain carbon and hydrogen, and that often include oxygen and other elements similar to what is found in Earth’s atmosphere and that are essential for life.
Is liquid methane dangerous?
Safety. Methane is nontoxic, yet it is extremely flammable and may form explosive mixtures with air. Methane is also an asphyxiant if the oxygen concentration is reduced to below about 16% by displacement, as most people can tolerate a reduction from 21% to 16% without ill effects.
Can we drink the water on Titan?
Titan is going to have methane and ethane tainting the ice. And Enceladus and Europa are going to be all kinds of salts and possibly magnesium sulphate, or epsom salts if it’s hydrated. … But you can’t set fire to the water on Titan because there’s no oxygen from methane to burn with.