NASA has released a new image of Saturn moon Titan, and it looks an awful lot like the Earth, except coated in a teal hazy atmosphere. There’s something that resembles water, land and clouds in the picture, and it’s giving the astronomical community a lot of excitement.
Unfortunately, The Colors in the Image Are Fake
The colors in the picture are not meant to mean anything, it’s only a measurement of the wavelengths of light collected by the Cassini capsule, who had a great flyby of Saturn moon Titan on November 13. The capsule’s infrared mapping spectrometer instrument measures blue at 1.3 microns, 2.0 microns in green, and 5.0 microns in red. Visible light is at around 0.5 microns.
Saturn Moon Titan Still Has Some Earthly Qualities
Titan has tall dunes, lakes and rivers. It’s also the only moon with a thick atmosphere, much like Earth. There are a few meteorite craters on its surface, so it’s likely that the new landscape is young.
On the other hand, the average temperature on Titan is -179 degrees Celsius. The sand on the atmosphere is dark hydrocarbon grains. All solid surfaces is rock-solid water ice. The liquid on the surface is methane, which is a gas on Earth, as is most of the air.
In Other Words, Titan is Like Earth Before it Housed Life
Although the image is quite striking, there’s very little chance of Saturn moon Titan to be able to sustain life, at least for now. Perhaps in a few million years it will be capable of developing life, but for now, it is uninhabitable. Travel to Titan could be an exciting topic someday, though it may happen a few generations down the line. Meanwhile, all of NASA’s efforts lie in getting a manned crew to Mars, and the ESA is all for exploring the dark side of the moon.