Deadly methane rain

With a surface pressure almost one and a half times that of Earth’s, Titan’s atmosphere is slightly more massive than our planet’s overall, taking on an almost chokingly opaque haze of orange layers that block out any light that tries to penetrate the Saturnian moon’s thick cover.

Titan is the only other world, other than Earth, where liquid rains on a solid surface. However, rather than the water that we are used to falling from the skies above us, pooling into puddles and flowing as streams and rivers, this moon’s rains fall as liquid methane – liquid hydrocarbons that add more fluid to the many lakes and oceans that already cover the surface. And it is thanks to the moon’s complex methane cycle, similar to the natural processes found on Earth, that this is possible.

Rain falls quite frequently on Earth, however, the same can’t be said for some regions on Titan. Springtime brings rain clouds and showers to Titan’s desert with the moon only experiencing rainfall around once every 1,000 years on its arid equator. However, these rain showers certainly make up for the lack of activity by dumping tens of centimetres or even metres of methane rain on to the Titanian surface.

At the poles of the moon its a completely different story, however. Methane rain falls much more frequently, replenishing the lakes of organic liquid covering the Titanian land.

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