On the surface, the largest moon of Saturn - Titan discovered hydrocarbon "Nil". River, whose length is 400 kilometers, flows into the sea methane Kraken similar in size to the Earth by the Mediterranean Sea. Information about the discovery made by the U.S. probe "Cassini" were transferred to the press service of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
"Titan is perhaps the only one (other than Earth) planet in the solar system, the surface of which is marked by fluid circulation. On the pictures we see the life of this world in constant motion. Here precipitation falls as rain, and rivers carry water droplets into the lakes and the sea, where they are evaporation and begins another round of the long cycle. role in the liquid water on the Earth stands on the same Titan - methane. This cycle affects both cases, almost all of the processes occurring on the surface of the planet, "- said Steve Wall, a specialist of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.
"Neil" was found on the surface of Titan in the study of images taken September 26, 2012 using the aircraft’s radar probe "Cassini". Methane river, as well as the associated Sea Kraken are in the northern hemisphere of Titan’s polar regions, where now gradually coming spring.
In the river bed length of over 400 kilometers, there are no major twists and turns that are characteristic of the structure of many of the rivers of the earth. "Neil" pioneers decided to call this river since its relatively long length and the size of the sea, into which it flows, similar to the size of the Mediterranean Sea.
Direct riverbed, as in the case of Neal on Earth can explain it over the bottom of a large fault in the upper layers formed of two plates illustrate how scientists.
"The faults and fissures in the ground this type of Titan, do not necessarily indicate the presence of tectonics, which is similar to Earth’s, but their appearance can contribute to the formation of rivers and even seas" - said Jana Radebou from Brigham Young University in Provo.
Mission "Cassini-Huygens" is a joint project of the Space Agency of the United States, Europe and Italy, aimed at studying Saturn. Probe "Cassini", launched a couple of the descent vehicle "Huygens" in 1997, reached the planet’s orbit July 1, 2004. First, "Huygens" has studied the atmosphere and surface of Saturn’s moon, and then the "Cassini", separated from the device, continued the study of the planet.
The new phase of the mission, dubbed "Solstice" (Solstice), "Cassini" began at the end of September 2010. The life of the unit has been extended to 2017, while the probe itself will allow scientists for the first time to study in detail all the seasonal period of Saturn.