The Cassini mission brought a lot of interesting observations of Saturn and its moons, and revealed phenomena going on there we wouldn’t have thought of. The first images of Titan, the largest moon, revealed the presence of methane lakes on its surface, and the fact that it’s surrounded by electric sand. Now, new images show the occurrence of extreme precipitations, such as methane rainstorms.
Titan is showered in methane rainstorms
Thanks to all the observations of the Saturnian moon, researchers were able to simulate these methane rainstorms, and find out how often they occur. The medium interval of time at which they take place is less than once per year which, judging from the length of a year on Titan, is actually really rare.
One year on Titan lasts for 29 and a half years on Earth, so such phenomena would seem barely noticeable. However, researchers were surprised to spot their presence there, and claimed they take place way more often than they would have expected. The methane rainstorms occur mostly everywhere on the surface of Titan, but are harsher at the poles.
The event might affect the geography of the moon
This is the first time when researchers look at extreme events taking place on Titan. Also, it’s their first observation of individual storms on the moon, instead of measuring an average amount of rainfall and other precipitations which occur on Titan over the course of a year.
Since these methane rainstorms occur at a high intensity, they can seriously affect the planet. Given the length of a year, a day is also significantly long, offering plenty of time to these extreme phenomena to shape the surface of the moon and the sediments present on it. Previous observations might prove than methane shapes the same formations that water does on Earth.