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Cassini finds liquid ethane on Titan

Saturn’s largest moon has a hydrocarbon lake

Anyone diving into the extraterrestrial lake known as Ontario Lacus would find an oil baron’s dream. The chilly reservoir, located on the south pole of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is composed of a key component of crude oil — liquid ethane.

After years of speculation, scientists have now confirmed that Titan, shrouded in hydrocarbons, has at least one ethane lake, Robert Brown of the University of Arizona in Tucson and his colleagues report in the July 31 Nature.

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