Search For Alien Life Boost: Rain Discovered On Saturn’s Moon Titan

Titan is Saturn’s largest moons and has long been one of the leading contenders to find life elsewhere in the solar system. So far, Titan is the only celestial body in the solar system, aside from Earth, that homes stable bodies of liquid – although its oceans are made up of ethane and methane and not water. It also has a thick atmosphere that could protect any inhabitants from the sun’s deadly solar flares.

Now, another piece of the alien finding puzzle has been placed after rain was spotted falling from the clouds.

Scientists had been on the hunt for clouds near Titan’s north pole since NASA’s Cassini probe passed it in 2005 – and now they have the confirmation.

Rajani Dhingra, a doctoral student in physics at the University of Idaho in Moscow, and lead author of the study published in Geophysical Research Letters, said: "The whole Titan community has been looking forward to seeing clouds and rains on Titan's north pole, indicating the start of the northern summer, but despite what the climate models had predicted, we weren't even seeing any clouds.
"People called it the curious case of missing clouds.”

Ms Dhingra said they discovered a reflective feature in the north pole in an image taken back in 2016, which confirmed the presence of rain.

She added: “It’s like looking at a sunlit wet sidewalk.”
What the clouds also confirmed, however, is that Titan goes through seasonal changes, and it has just entered summer.

Ms Dhingra continued: “We want our model predictions to match our observations. This rainfall detection proves Cassini’s climate follows the theoretical climate models we know of.

“Summer is happening. It was delayed, but it’s happening. We will have to figure out what caused the delay, though.”

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