Titan’s Surface Organics Surpass Oil Reserves on Earth

Saturn’s orange moon Titan has hundreds of times more liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, according to new data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The hydrocarbons rain from the sky, collecting in vast deposits that form lakes and dunes.

The new findings from the study led by Ralph Lorenz, Cassini radar team member from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md., are reported in the Jan. 29 issue of the Geophysical Research Letters.

“Titan is just covered in carbon-bearing material — it’s a giant factory of organic chemicals,” said Lorenz. “This vast carbon inventory is an important window into the geology and climate history of Titan.”

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Apparently not from buried algae and plankton. ABN

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