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August 7 2014

Saturn moon may host its own Dead Sea


Titan, Saturn's largest moon, may have its own Dead Sea. A fake lake simulating conditions there hints that the moon may host ethane pools brimming with benzene, just as the Dead Sea on Earth is packed with salt.

Titan is arguably the most Earth-like body in the solar system, boasting lakes, rivers, clouds and rainfall. But the moon's frigid temperatures mean its liquids are hydrocarbons like ethane or methane, rather than water. When sunlight interacts with the atmosphere it regularly creates fresh organic compounds like benzene a chemical found in gasoline and these fall like snow.

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