Thursday, January 8, 2009

Titan Moon May Hold the Key to Future Sustainability

NASA's Cassini Spacecraft has been mapping Saturn's orange moon known as Titan, covering about 20% of the moon's surface so far. What it has observed is remarkable, and may hold the key to sustaining life on our planet in the distant future. Titan has hundreds of times the amount of natural energy in the form of liquid hydrocarbons than all of the known oil and gas reserves on Earth, which even rain from the sky and collect in hundreds of vast lakes and dunes throughout the moon.

The temperature on Titan is a brisk minus 179 degres celsius, and a few of its more potent lakes have energy in the form of methane and ethane which have the capacity to provide 300 times the amount of energy the United States uses annually.

Scientists believe that methane might be supplied to the atmosphere by eruptions from the interior in cryovolcanic eruptions. If so, the amount of methane, and the temperature on Titan, may have fluctuated dramatically throughout Titan's long history.

There is still much to discover on Titan, which could hold the key to keeping our planet sustainably sound in the distant future, and the answer lies in the hundreds of deep natural gas lakes which are visible here from satellite photography.

No comments: