Scientists have found that Titan appears to have a stable sea level, meaning it is similar to Earth in another fascinating way.
Scientists have just discovered that Saturn’s largest moon Titan has a global sea level, yet another trait it shares with Earth along with a dense atmosphere and stable liquid. Two studies, which were published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, show us the most detailed topographical map of Titan we have ever seen.
Scientists discovered new mountains, although none of them are large, as wellas depressions that may have been created by cryovolanic flows or hosted ancient seas that have long since dried up. Titan also may be a lot flatter than had been originally believed.
Researchers used this topographical map to determine that there is an average sea level across Titan, although Titan is different from Earth in that its water bodies are filled with liquid methane and ethane. However, these seas and lakes are at about the same elevation, just like how on Earth we have a “sea level” where both the Pacific, Atlantic, and other oceans rest.
“Before Cassini-Huygens began its focused study of Saturn’s largest moon, we knew Titan as a hazy orange ball about the size of Mercury,” reads a NASA statement on Titan. “Scientists had determined it had a nitrogen atmosphere—the only known world with a dense nitrogen atmosphere besides Earth. But what might lie beneath the smoggy clouds was still largely a mystery.”