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Titan's tides reveal hidden ocean that could host life

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Alien hunters take note: a global water ocean potentially bigger than all those on Earth combined, is sloshing beneath Titan's icy crust.

Combined with the cocktail of organic chemicals already known to exist on Titan, abundant water could make the moon prime real estate for life – though more work must be done to determine the exact state of the ocean.

Previous studies have painted Saturn's largest moon as a trippy land, replete with lakes full of liquid methane and ethane. Theoretical models and measurements of the moon's electric field have suggested there is liquid water beneath its icy surface, too, but the evidence was not conclusive.

Now Luciano Iess of Sapienza University of Rome in Italy and colleagues have analysed measurements of Titan's gravity field taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft during its six fly-bys of the moon between 2006 and 2011.
 
 

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