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A globe-like world appears in an alien map

Friday, October 22, 2021 19:35 PM (GMT+7)

The striking similarity of Earth’s topography and Saturn’s moon Titan has laid the groundwork for astronomers to map the rivers of this alien world.

Research just published in the Planetary Science Journal has produced a detailed map of the system of rivers and canals on the moon Titan, described as a world with “maze terrain”.

Graphic image depicting the current landscape on Titan – Photo: Benjamin de Bivort

This map, based on precious observations from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, provides a landscape very similar to Earth’s river maps. But according to a team led by Dr Alex Hayes from the Cornell University Department of Astronomy, while Earth’s hydrological system is based on water, the substitute for water on Titan is liquid methane and ethane. , which fills canals, lakes, rivers, and seas.

According to Sci-News, understanding the characteristics of this particular river system will help scientists understand the lunar sediment transport system as well as the underlying geological system.

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The map of Titan’s system of rivers, lakes and canals is very similar to Earth’s – Photo: NASA

“They tell you how organic material is transported around Titan’s surface and identify locations where the material may be concentrated near sites that bear signs of tectonic activity, or even possibly “Furthermore, those organic materials can be transported down to Titan’s actual liquid water underground oceans, or something from below is transported to the surface,” he added.

To draw this map, scientists used radar images on Earth as a basis, because the surfaces of the two objects are very similar.

These maps will provide data to guide NASA’s Dragonfly mission – scheduled to launch in 2027, to Titan in 2034 – with the goal of further studying and searching for life on the world that NASA once described as an alien replica of Earth.


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