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Take a Journey to Titan's Massive Methane-Filled Lakes

NASA has assembled the most comprehensive map ever made of Titan's methane-drenched surface, counting this extraordinary 3D fly-over video. One of these lakes, Ligeia Mare, covers about 40 times the amount of oil and gas reserves on Earth, motivating some to wonder if we should bring it back to Earth. Ligeia Mare is nearly twice the size of Lake Michigan and it's not even Titan's largest lake. That difference goes to Kraken Mare, which is approximately five times as big. Except Earth, Titan is the only terrestrial object in the solar system capable of nurturing stable liquids on the surface. This methane is basically liquified natural gas. But as Randy Kirk from the U.S. Geological Survey said to the BBC, "People ask me if you could bring it to Earth, and that's a dumb idea on many levels. But what you might not realize is that there simply wouldn't be enough oxygen here to burn it all." 

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/USGS | Source: NASA

As for the new map, it was acquired by Cassini's radar tools from 2004 to 2013. The sight, with Titan's North Pole at the center, spreads down to 50 degrees north latitude.


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