Titan`s second largest sea has mirror-like smooth surface
Washington: Radar measurements made in 2013 by NASA`s Cassini spacecraft, reveal that the surface of Ligeia Mare, Titan`s second largest sea, possesses a mirror-like smoothness, possibly due to a lack of winds.
"If you could look out on this sea, it would be really still. It would just be a totally glassy surface ," Howard Zebker, professor of geophysics and of electrical engineering at Stanford who is the lead author of a new study detailing the research, said.
The findings also indicate that the solid terrain surrounding the sea is likely made of solid organic materials and not frozen water.
Saturn`s second largest moon, Titan has a dense, planet-like atmosphere and large seas made of methane and ethane.
Measuring roughly 260 miles (420 km) by 217 miles (350 km), Ligeia Mare is larger than Lake Superior on Earth.
" Titan is the best analog that we have in the solar system to a body like the Earth because it is the only other body that we know of that has a complex cycle of solid, liquid, and gas constituents," Zebker said.
The radar measurements suggest the surface of Ligeia Mare is eerily still.
"Cassini`s radar sensitivity in this experiment is one millimeter, so that means if there are waves on Ligeia Mare, they`re smaller than one millimeter. That`s really, really smooth," Zebker said.
One possible explanation for the sea`s calmness is that no winds happened to be blowing across that region of the moon when Cassini made its flyby.
Another possibility is that a thin layer of some material is suppressing wave action.
The findings are published online in Geophysical Research Letters.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Delhi: 8-year-old boy dies after falling into pothole
- Woman commits suicide in UP after posting message on social media
- Nirbhaya gang-rape convict Vinay Sharma attempts suicide in Tihar Jail
- Rajnath Singh, Mehbooba Mufti hold joint press conference on Kashmir violence
- Will appoint nodal officer for Kashmiris: Rajnath Singh
- A Flying Jatt tweet review: First day first show
- Xiaomi MIUI 8 ROM starts rolling out: Know which phones in India will get the update
- Denied help by hospital authorities, Odisha man walks 10-km carrying wife's dead body; WATCH
- Salman Khan's fan trolled, criticised Yogeshwar Dutt after he was out of Olympics. Here's his FITTING reply
- Setback for NSUI as ABVP wins big in student union polls in Rajasthan