Wednesday, February 13, 2008

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 Cassini data. 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, USA, are reported in the 29 January 2008 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."


W.M. Bear said...

HAH! I thought they were going to rip off my orbital tanker idea but then they kind of veered away from it. If nothing else, all that methane and ethane ought to serve as some kind of financial incentive to the oil conglomerates to git out there and git it!

Mac said...

I'd like to think that by the time we're able to get there we'll have left our need for oil long, long behind -- and deservedly so!

W.M. Bear said...

One would hope. But still, I'm just trying to think of something to get those big bucks invested in space travel!