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Cassini and the ice volcanoes of Titan!

TitanA billion miles from the sun, you don’t need molten lava for volcanoes – you just need subsurface ice to warm up and erupt as water. That’s what NASA scientists think they’ve spotted in a radar image of the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan sent back in late October by the Cassini unmanned probe. A bright, flow-like feature may be indicative of something oozing out onto Titan’s surface from below – and at the frigid temperatures experienced in Saturn’s orbit, ice volcanoes are more likely than the molten rock variety seen on Earth and Mars. If confirmed, this wouldn’t be the first “ice volcano” found in our solar system; Voyager 2 had already spotted an eruption on the surface of Neptune’s largest moon, Triton, as it swung by in August 1989.

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