Titan: Is Saturn's Moon The Next Option For Humans To Occupy?
As humans continue their quest to search for another habitable planet, scientists looked at the possibility of living on one of Saturn's 50 moons, the largest of them all -- Titan.
New York Post reported that authors of the book Beyond Earth: Our Path to a New Home in the Planets tackled Titan's potential in sustaining human life. Amanda R. Hendrix, Ph.D., and Charles Wohlforth believe that since Venus, Mars and Mercury are far from being the next planet humans could occupy, Titan -- as per images captured by NASA's Cassini mission -- has smooth-looking lakes likened to those of the Earth.
According to the authors, Titan's lakes have "branching shapes that looked exactly like the channels, bays, and coves of a shoreline on Earth." When hit by sunlight, it was said that it "looked exactly like afternoon light reflecting off lake waters on Earth."
While Saturn's biggest moon is believed to be the only one in the solar system that holds surface liquids other than Earth, it definitely has many properties differing from the planet.
The gravitational measurements done by the Cassini mission states that Titan's lakes contain far more hydrocarbons than what the Earth has been discovered to have. Its rivers, lakes, clouds and rains are made up of liquid ethane and methane, which make up Earth's liquefied natural gas. Moreover, the weather and beaches in Titan are even described to be "colder than a deep freeze."
In addition to that, the atmosphere on Titan does not have oxygen and is mostly composed of nitrogen -- making it absolutely impossible for humans to breathe.
Titan may have surface liquids, but it fails to have all nine habitable zones that another astrophysicist, Dr. Hugh Ross, Ph.D., enumerated in order for a planet to be habitable. Such zones are liquid water, tidal, photosynthetic, ultraviolet, ozone, obliquity, rotation rate, astrosphere and atmospheric electric fields. Earth is the only planet that has been proven to have all of these properties so far.