Discovery of Ocean Waves off Earth?
It seems that just about every week or so scientists are discovering something weird out there in space. Some of these discoveries are more exciting than others, i.e., finally discovering water ice on Mars or discovering a star that’s potentially the size of the orbit of Saturn. But then sometimes new discoveries come and go and few people pay attention to them. I would like to talk about one such discovery: the discovery of possible ocean waves on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. Could these possible waves be caused by Titan’s winds or something else that lies beneath?
However, they have ruled out that it’s not some iceberg becoming exposed due to a change of sea level.
Jason Barnes, a planetary scientist at the University of Idaho in Moscow, says that NASA’s Cassini spacecraft spied several unusual reflections of sunlight off the surface of one of Titan’s hydrocarbon seas, Punga Mare, in 2012 and 2013. Those glints may come from tiny waves that are disturbing the otherwise flat ocean – ripples that are no more than 2 centimeters high.
Research is still ongoing when it comes to the creation of these waves. Knowing how these waves forms will help scientists understand the physical conditions of these lakes and seas. It will also help with future expeditions and the creation of some lake lander that could traverse the liquid surface. After all, they would need to know if we dropped a probe down there would it plop or would it splash?
A Cassini flyby in August may be able to shed a bit more light on this evolving mystery.
#pungamare #NASA #Mars #titan #Saturn #universityofidahoinmoscow #Cassini #willywonka #alienplanetwaves