To Sail the Methane Seas of Titan

A map of Titan’s methane seas. Credit: NASA.

We’ll never get to explore along side John Carter on Mars, but it’s always nice to know that worlds as weird as anything Edgar Rice Burroughs might have imagined do exist … minus the warlords and Martian princesses of course. NASA’s Cassini space probe has found good evidence of large seas on Titan, Saturn’s moon methane-shrouded moon. The photo above shows one such sea, which is about as large as Earth’s own Lake Superior.

Scientists have long suspected that Titan has such seas, or perhaps even oceans, but a probe sent to the surface of the moon landed on solid (if frozen) grown rather than in a slushy ocean. This finding swings speculation away from a “dry” Titan and back to one whose northern surface is broken up by seas of liquid methane or ethane. CNN has a news story about it or you can check out NASA’s official take on the find.

Image courtesy NASA/JPL