Saturn's smoggy moon Titan has hundreds of times more natural gas and other liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, scientists said today.
The hydrocarbons rain from the sky on the miserable moon, collecting in vast deposits that form lakes and dunes. This much was known. But now the stuff has been quantified using observations from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
"Titan is just covered in carbon-bearing material — it's a giant factory of organic chemicals," said Ralph Lorenz, a Cassini radar team member from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. "This vast carbon inventory is an important window into the geology and climate history of Titan."
At minus 179 degrees Celsius (minus 290 degrees Fahrenheit), Titan would be an awful place to live. Instead of water, liquid hydrocarbons in the form of methane and ethane are present on
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