As we said in our last article, we were not quite done with Titan facts. So, here is another list of facts about Titan that will blow your mind. Any guess what you will learn here? Let us help. We will learn about Cryovolcanoes, magic island, hydrocarbon dunes and much more. So, this article will simply keep getting entertaining as you continue reading. Read on…
Mind Blowing Titan Facts: 1-5
1. Titan has a rich collection of lakes, most of which are concentrated towards the south pole of the celestial body. These lakes are all filled with liquid ethane and methane and also molecules of hydrogen and carbon.
2. The largest lake that Titan has, has been named as Kraken Mare by astronomers on Earth. The Kraken Mare was located by Cassini spacecraft, which flew close to Titan on June 5, 2010.
3. This largest lake of Titan is really massive. The total area covered by this lake is 400,000 square kilometers or 150,000 square miles. So, this makes the lake bigger than Caspian Sea that is present on our Earth.
4. 4 years later after Cassini’s flyby, scientists on Earth identified a very interesting feature. They saw a short-living feature and gave it the name “Magic Island”. Though the actual name is Transient Feature, Magic Island is just a playful name give.
5. So, what really is Magic Island? According to experts, these are large bubbles of nitrogen that are formed on these lakes and seas on Titan. They sit on the surface for some time and then they just vanish. These bubbles are large enough to look like islands and hence the playful name.
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Mind Blowing Titan Facts: 6-10
6. How are these nitrogen bubbles formed? There’s a mystery to this. On Titan, the liquid ethane and liquid methane in lakes and seas and rivers do not mix with each other. In fact, they sit in layers. However, the moon is also known to have methane rains.
7. When the methane rains down they flow to form channels that are temporary. These channels often drain into the larger liquid bodies and in the process, churn the layered liquids. Because of this churning, the nitrogen present in both ethane and methane lakes is released, forming the Magic Islands or Transient Features.
8. The other alternative is that when the rainfall occurs, the raining methane mixes with liquid ethane in these liquid bodies and the resulting mix leads to creation of bubbles and hence, the Transient Features.
9. There is yet another possibility. Despite the fact that Titan is very very cold, there are seasons. During the warmer seasons, according to scientists, the temperature is high enough to heat up the lakes, rivers and seas on Titan. This heating breaks apart the nitrogen in the molecules of liquid ethane and liquid methane.
10. The problem is that the nitrogen release process is way to slow and hence, instead of having bubble eruption, the nitrogen simply fizzes up on the surface and stays provided that the lakes and rivers or seas are not composed of methane only. Had they been only methane, the bubbles would simply pop on surface instead of sitting around for a while.