Cassini finds longest extraterrestrial river in the solar system

260px Titan multi spectral overlay Cassini finds longest extraterrestrial river in the solar system

The Cassini space probe has just found a river on Saturn's moon Titan. Outside of earth, it is the longest river found in the solar system thusfar.

The Cassini space probe is continuing it's exploration of the outer solar system and now, it's taken a few new pictures of Saturn's moon Titan. What it's discovered is a river, 320 kilometers in length, which makes it the longest river known to exist outside of earth. Rivers have been found on Titan before, but none of this size, which is impressive, despite being 20 times shorter than our own Nile river.

xlarge Cassini finds longest extraterrestrial river in the solar system

 

Unlike terrestrial rivers however, the rivers on Titan are not composed of water. The temperature on Titan is a brisk -170C, meaning all water is well below freezing. However, hydrocarbons such as methane and ethane are in a liquid state, and they behave much like water does here on earth; Titan has lakes, rivers like the newly discovered one, and liquid-eroded landscapes, making it an oddly familiar place far from home.

A grad student in experimental physics, David is fascinated by science, space and technology. When not buried in his lecture books, he's a big-time gamer, aspiring comic artist and always finds time for mountain biking and his airsoft team.