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Viewings: 3222Another surprise for the participants of the project "Cassini" was presented to Titan. On this moon of Saturn detected river valley, very similar to the direction of the earth Nile river, only in miniature. It stretches for 400 kilometers from its source to the sea Kraken. This is the first major river system, found in space. Moreover, it managed to capture high resolution.
Titan is one of the most mysterious objects in the Solar system. It is the second largest after Ganymede and the largest of Saturn's moons, its weight is more than 20 times the weight of all the other satellites. And he has a powerful atmosphere: it is connected with the aerosol haze and clouds... the surface of the satellite has a red-brown color and can change depending on the season. In 1944, in the atmosphere of Titan discovered methane, and even 30 years later - molecular hydrogen.
In 1997 to Saturn was sent an automatic interplanetary station "Cassini". In July 2004, the station reached the orbit of Saturn, and in January 2005 on the surface of Titan landed research probe "Huygens" the European space Agency. He helped to collect more accurate data on the characteristics of the satellite.
So, it turned out that the weather on Titan depends on the cycle of methane, which is both in liquid and gaseous form. Titanium is surrounded by a dense atmosphere and the temperature at its surface is about 180 degrees Celsius below zero. The researchers found that this celestial body about half is composed of water ice, and half of stony rocks.
The peculiarity of this sutorminskoe moon that on it, as on Earth, there are rivers, lakes and clouds, and besides, it's raining. However, not from water and from liquid hydrocarbons, in particular, from methane. It was proved that the hydrocarbon cycle on Titan is of seasonal nature - for example, ponds dry up and appear again depending on the time of year.
Methane rains so far been able to observe only at the poles, though, apparently, sometime in the past, the rain came and Equatorial latitudes, now where is the desert. This is evidenced by the preserved there a network of dry channels. However, in 2006 in these places there was a slight drizzle, but such a meager rainfall is not enough so hard hack into the terrain.
Not so long ago, a research group headed by Ellen Stofan of the company Proxemy Research (USA) carefully studied radar images of the southern hemisphere of the moon of Saturn. The purpose of the scientists was to find tanks of liquid. Because Titan is the only major body in the Solar system (except, of course, the Earth), the surface of which is consistently fluid, however, hydrocarbon, not the water.
Until recently, the vast sea were found only in the Northern hemisphere of Titan. As for the South, the analysis of photographs "Cassini" for 2008-2011 has shown that there, too, was once under the sea, though smaller.
In 2008, Ellen Stofan and her colleagues were able to find two relief education, possibly representing a dry sea. The size of one of them are 475 280 kilometers, and the depth of several hundred metres. Stefan also suggested that the remnant of the once vast sea is Ontario is the largest of the existing lakes in the southern hemisphere of Titan, consisting of liquid ethane. At the end of 2010 the shots Equatorial regions, made "Cassini", detected the traces of recent rains.
New found valley can be seen in the radar image is made "Cassini" September 26 of this year. According to scientists, "mini-Neil" consists of liquid hydrocarbons, as its surface is very smooth and has steadily darker.
"It has several short, small bends, but in General, the relative straightforwardness of the river valley suggests that she should one break, like other large rivers flowing into the southern part of the sea, says Jani Radebe from Brigham young University (USA). Such fractures (cracks in the crust of Titan may not necessarily related to plate tectonics, but still lead to the discovery of pools and possibly the formation of the giant of the seas".
The length of the earth Nile, in turn, is about 6 700 kilometers. According to experts, to the formation of the Nile valley have led the complex processes associated with the formation of faults.
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