By analyzing data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, scientists found evidence that the underground ocean on Titan – Saturn’s largest moon, has a salt concentration close to that of the Dead Sea on Earth. This discovery has just been published in the latest issue of the journal Icarus.
NASA’s latest research is being conducted based on gravity and topography data collected by space explorer Cassini during flights to Titan over the past 10 years. By analyzing data from Cassini, the researchers reconstructed a complete structural model for Titan, consisting of the underlying surface ice as well as the underlying ocean. According to this model, the scientists said that the oceans of Titan must have a relatively high density to produce the gravitational parameters as they are collected. This suggests that this ocean is likely an extremely salty sea of saltwater by Earth standards, with components of sulfur, sodium, and potassium.
Lead author of the paper, scientist Giuseppe Mitri from the University of Nantes (France), said the results of this study could change the hypothesis that this ocean sustains life today. .
In addition, the Cassini data also showed that the thickness of Titan’s ice cover was relatively uniform. The reason is that the outer crust of the moon is very hard when it changes from a crystalline state to ice. Otherwise, the shape of the moon will tend to melt over time like hot candle wax. This freeze will have a significant impact on ocean conditions on Titan, as it restricts the ability to exchange matter between the surface and the ocean.
The discovery of an ocean on Saturn’s moon Titan is considered a major breakthrough in the quest for a planet that could have life like Earth. However, the new findings could extinguish the hope of life that exists on Saturn’s largest natural satellite.