Latest Issue of Science News


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.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.