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Studying Saturn's Moon 'Titan' May Offer Insights for Earth’s Climatic Conditions, Say Researchers

Image credits: REUTERS/ NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI.

Image credits: REUTERS/ NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI.

The study, published in the Geophysical Research Letters, revealed that studying Titan can help explain the energy imbalance on Earth that affects its weather conditions.

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Scientists now say that meteorological study of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, can help one have a better understanding of Earth's climatic conditions.

The study, published in the Geophysical Research Letters, revealed that studying Titan can help explain the energy imbalance on Earth that affects its weather conditions.

According to a report published in Science Daily, that cited the original study, Titan is the only body in the solar system, apart from Earth, that has significant atmosphere and lakes.

Speaking about the same, first author of the paper, Ellen C Creecy revealed that a study of Titan can help one "learn a lot about Earth", even though there are significant differences between the two. While the surface liquid on Titan is liquid methane, on Earth it is water. Furthermore, Saturn and its moons take far longer to complete an orbit around the moon, she said.

The report cited researchers as saying that by studying the energy budget of Titan, one can add to the understanding of climate change on Earth.

Researchers used data collected from the Cassini mission for 14 years, between 2004 and 2017 to study the seasonal variation of Titan and found that there was a 6.8 per cent decrease in the thermal energy emitted by Titan, while there was a decrease of about 18.6 per cent in solar energy absorption by Saturn's moon. According to them, that varied between the northern and southern atmospheres of Titan, as well as the moon's distance from the sun during its orbit.

Researchers came to the conclusion that the findings suggest the distance between the Sun and Earth may play a role in Earth's energy imbalance.

Xun Jiang, co-doctoral advisory for Creecy, added that future work will compare Titan and Earth's energy budgets in order to better understand climatic systems on each.

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