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An ethane swamp on Saturn's moon Titan; organonitrogen haze; hydrocarbon haze; tholin; smog; anti-greenhouse effect - Space Art Illustration

Ethane swamp on Titan

Initially astronomers thought that Titan's entire surface may be covered by a liquid hydrocarbon ocean. More recent observations in infrared wavelengths* suggest otherwise. In this image the artist is suggesting that Titan may be host to extremely cold ethane-methane swamps.

* Fortunately Titan's haze is relatively transparent to the Cassini orbiter's infrared-sensitive "eyes."  A great deal has been learned about the Surface of Titan since Cassini-Huygens' first encounter with the satellite in October 2004. A vista like the one above is still very much a real-world possibility.


Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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