Titan's gigantic methane lakes could be encrusted with crystals
It's like something from science fiction, but Titan's lakes could be surrounded with crystals.
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Titan is thought to feature hydrocarbon lakes on its surface, near its polar regions. These aren't lakes like you might see on Earth, these are bodies of ethane and methane, molecules that only exist as liquid due to the temperature of Titan -- thought to be around 90 Kelvin (around -297 Fahrenheit).
This possibility comes from researchers creating Titan-like conditions within the lab. Using a custom-built cryostat combined with liquid nitrogen, researchers were able to induce the insanely low temperatures required to recreate conditions on Titan's surface. With the extreme cold, researchers found that an "acetylene-butane co-crystal" was formed in bodies of methane and ethane similar to those thought to exist on Titan. The team believes this crystal could explain the bathtub rings thought to be seen around the lakes on Titan.
Crystal-encrusted lakes of methane: it seems like a science-fiction author's dream, or something straight from Interstellar, but according to the research it is a possibility -- but only a possibility.
Until we actually land close to the shores of Titan's mysterious lakes, we can't know for sure if these bathtub rings actually exist.