• Question: which planet is the most you know about, whatever it is could you give me some of your favourite facts about that planet?

    Asked by eimearconnolly to Sara on 17 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Sara Imari Walker

      Sara Imari Walker answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      Hello eimearconnolly!! Wow this is a great question! Is it ok if I pick a moon rather than a planet? These days I am really fascinated by a couple of moons in our solar system. Namely Europa (moon of Jupiter), and Titan and Enceladus (moons of Saturn). To me, probably the most fascinating is Titan. Have you heard of it before?

      Titan is the largest moon of Saturn. What’s really cool about Titan is it is the only known moon with an atmosphere AND it has liquid lakes on its surface. Now these are not lakes you or I might want to swim in, they are made of methane!! Literally lakes of oil!! The atmosphere is made mostly of nitrogen (just like Earth) however Titan looks yellow because of all the methane in its atmosphere. Titan also has weather just like here on Earth, there are clouds and even methane rain!! I can’t imagine standing on the surface of the moon with its thick yellow atmosphere and its oil lakes. Can you imagine such a foreign place? Its crazy to think that it exists, and in our own solar system!

      In recent years, especially after the discovery of Titan’s lakes, Titan has become a prime candidate in the search for life in our Solar System. We have these microbes here on Earth called methanogens that love methane! It is entirely possible some life is living right now on Titan under conditions no life on Earth could live. Wild!