Scientists claim that under the thick layers of clouds that covers Titan, ice surface of Titan is crossed by a complex networks of rivers.
The mysterious Saturn’s “Moon” a long time intrigued scientists, who have not been easy to them to study the surface of the moon because the moon is covered by an orange gas.
In 2004, the Cassini spacecraft managed to break through the haze around Titan, managing to send pictures to Earth. After analyzing these images, researchers at MIT and the University of Tennessee concluded that, in “many” ways, Titan’s ice surface is similar to earth’s surface.
The images revealed that, surprisingly, the surface of Titan it lacks of craters, which means that the outer layer of the “satellite” is constantly in a continuous remodeling, exactly as happens on Earth. Also, in the landscape, it falls several rivers that flow into a huge lakes that is similar somehow with those on our planet.
However, there is one major difference: the rivers is consist of liquid methane. For this reason, most of the rivers flowing on Titan isn’t as fast as those on Earth, they pass slowly through a thick ice forming thin networks.
Regarding to the ongoing rebuilding of the surface, scientists believe that Titan has gone through geological changes similar to those that has also suffered Earth. For example, on Earth, the craters is a rarity because the tectonic plates, volcanic eruptions, glaciers and river systems have helped reshape the planet over billions of years. On Titan, however, this process was provided by frozen lava eruptions, erosion and sedimentation.
We’ve only just begun exploring the surface of Titan, but what’s struck me the most so far is the variety of the surface patterns that we?bfre seeing. The surface is very complex, and shows evidence for so many different modification processes,
said Dr. Elizabeth Turtle ~ co-author of one of the papers in Nature.
Throughout the solar system, we find examples of solid bodies that show tremendous geologic variation across their surfaces. One hemisphere often can bear little resemblance to the other,
said Dr. Carolyn Porco,
On Titan, it’s very likely to be this and more.