Liquid water is a requirement for life on Earth, but on much colder worlds life might exist beyond the bounds of water-based chemistry. Researchers at Cornell University offer a template for life that could thrive in the cryogenic seas of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon.
Researchers analysing data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft were able to study the effect of a powerful solar outburst on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, when it was unprotected from a raging stream of energetic solar particles.
Ten years ago today, on 14 January 2005, a compact, flattened cylinder called Huygens, chock-full of sensors, cameras and scientific experiments, went hurtling through the orange skies of the mysterious moon Titan.
Tethys appears to be peeking out from behind Rhea in this image from the Cassini probe. Scientists believe that Tethys’ surprisingly high albedo is due to the water ice jets emerging from its neighbour, Enceladus.
Titan is the only planetary moon known to have fields of wind-blown dunes on its surface. Experiments with the high pressure wind tunnel at Arizona State University’s Planetary Aeolian Laboratory provide key data for understanding dunes on Saturn’s largest moon.