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Titan's Rotation Reveals an Internal Ocean and Changing Zonal Winds

Titan's Rotation Reveals an Internal Ocean and Changing Zonal Winds

Publication date: 21 March 2008

Authors: Lorenz, R.D. et al.

Journal: Science
Volume: 319
Issue: 5870
Page: 1649-1651
Year: 2008

Copyright: AAAS

Cassini radar observations of Saturn's moon Titan over several years show that its rotational period is changing and is different from its orbital period. The present-day rotation period difference from synchronous spin leads to a shift of 0.36° per year in apparent longitude and is consistent with seasonal exchange of angular momentum between the surface and Titan's dense superrotating atmosphere, but only if Titan's crust is decoupled from the core by an internal water ocean like that on Europa.

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