Young-Looking Methane Lakes on Saturn's Moon | The Institute for Creation Research

Young-Looking Methane Lakes on Saturn's Moon

The Cassini spacecraft detected what appear to be lakes and ponds near Titan's equator. If so, one lake is almost forty miles long, 25 miles wide, and at least three feet deep. Natural processes on the moon's surface rain down methane mixed with hydrocarbons, but only near the poles. Near the moon's equator, natural processes evaporate the methane. So, after many millennia, any ancient equatorial methane lakes on Titan should have completely dried. The methane lakes' continued presence baffles astronomers, leaving them to face the difficult task of explaining it.

Caitlin Griffith, planetary scientist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, is lead author of the study results published in Nature.1 She told Nature News, "Lakes at the poles are easy to explain, but lakes in the tropics are not."2

These observations are easy to explain if evaporation has only been occurring for thousands, not billions of years. How could methane lakes still exist on Titan's equator after billions of years of evaporation?

"Because tropical lakes on Titan should evaporate over a period of just a few thousand years, the researchers argue that these ponds and lakes are being replenished by subsurface oases of liquid methane," according to Nature News.2 That kind of argument is very familiar.

For example, in 2008 Cassini discovered frozen carbon dioxide on Iapetus, another of Saturn's moons, even though sixty-trillion tons of the carbon dioxide are lost to space during each orbit. To explain this, researchers proposed that it is replenished from below the surface or from impacts, but neither explanation has supporting evidence.3

Another case in point involves comets. Researchers continue to imagine an invisible cloud or belt of comet sources lying near the solar system to explain how comets with short life spans still swing through the Solar System, even though they are supposed to be billions of years old.4

Likewise, to explain the moon recession problem—it would have been touching the earth and making life impossible at only a fraction of the earth's supposed billions of years—many suggest with no evidence to back the claim that the moon's current drift rate away from earth is abnormally fast these days.

Rescuing devices are a central feature of long-age astronomy. Thus, it is no surprise to read of another one. The claim that an unseen subsurface methane reservoir exists is an attempt to rescue Titan's supposed old age from scientific evidence of its youth.

References

  1. Griffith, C.A. et al. 2012. Possible tropical lakes on Titan from observations of dark terrain. Nature. 486 (7402): 237-239.
  2. McKee, M. Tropical lakes on Saturn moon could expand options for life. Nature News. Posted on nature.com June 13, 2012, accessed June 18, 2012.
  3. Coppedge, D. 2008. Iapetus: Youth in Black and White. Acts & Facts. 37 (6): 15.
  4. Humphreys, D.R. 2006. Evidence for a Young World. Acts & Facts. 34 (6).

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on July 16, 2012.

The Latest
NEWS
Stasis and More Stasis in Living Fossils
Living fossils have been a challenge to evolutionists ever since Darwin coined the phrase in 1859.1,2 They are members of a living species...

NEWS
Scaly Skin on a Feathered Dinosaur?
Fossil experts from University College Cork in Ireland took stunning images of Psittacosaurus skin. The dinosaurs’ belly shows patches of skin...

NEWS
Florida Fossil Shows Porcupines Have Always Been Porcupines
The porcupine is an animal (rodent) that one does not soon forget. It is armed with formidable quills that deter even the hungriest predators. What...

NEWS
Webb Telescope Discovers Another Record-Breaking Galaxy
Astronomers using the James Webb Space Telescope have recently confirmed that two galaxies are extremely distant, with one becoming the new record holder...

CREATION PODCAST
The Power of Film & Video: Reaching All Ages with Truth | The...
Is there a place for the use of film and video within Christianity? If so, how can we leverage this powerful tool to reach viewers of all ages...

NEWS
New Titanosaur Species Discovered in Uruguay and Argentina
The pre-Flood world had some truly massive dinosaurs, and the largest of them were in the group Sauropodomorpha.1 Within this group were...

NEWS
T. rex Not as Smart as Thought
Have movies and most conventional paleontologists got it all wrong? T. rex and other theropod dinosaurs (the meat-eaters) are often portrayed as intelligent...

NEWS
June 2024 ICR Wallpaper
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8 NKJV) ICR June...

NEWS
A “Just-so” Story About Ancient Genes
An evolutionary website recently published “a groundbreaking study” that supposedly identifies a basic, uncomplicated, “simple”...

CREATION PODCAST
Dinosaurs with Bird Brains??? | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
Evolutionists claim that birds are descended from dinosaurs. A feature that is often cited as linking these two types of creatures is the brain....