Moscow: Around 100 km beneath the rocky crust on Saturn's largest moon
Titan is an ocean of water spanning the entirety of the celestial
body, scientists said.
The ocean was hypothesised in 2011, based on Titan's rotation and
The theory was confirmed by a study based on data from the Cassini-Huygens
probe, published in Science magazine.
The ocean theory implied that Titan is becoming slightly deformed
by Saturn's gravity when it nears the planet, something that would
not have happened if Titan were completely solid.
A team headed by Italian researcher Luciano Iess studied the
influence of Titan's gravity on the probe during numerous fly-bys
and discovered that the moon's gravity slightly varied, in line
with the ocean theory.
The ocean is probably saturated with ammonia or its sulfate and
cold, unlike on Jupiter's moon Europa, whose underground waters
are heated by geysers, the report said.
This, along with the lack of minerals, makes Titan's currently
nameless ocean an unlikely place to produce life, the study said.
However, other studies indicate that some bacteria are capable of
surviving in extreme environments, and even propose the
possibility of life based on different biochemistry than on Earth,
Titan, one of Saturn's 13 major moons, was discovered in 1655 by
Christiaan Huygens, but its study is complicated by its dense
The Hyugens unmanned probe, delivered by the Cassini mission
dispatched in 1997 to study Saturn, successfully landed on Titan
in 2005, becoming the most distant landing of manmade spacecraft
in history. It transmitted data for about 90 minutes after