Washington, Feb 22: Fluctuating prices of hydrocarbons gives nightmares to economic pundits across the world but on Mars it simply rains from the skies.
Saturn's orange moon Titan has lakes and dunes of hydrocarbons has hundreds of times more liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth and not just that it comes free of exploration costs as it simply rains from the skies, according to new data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. ''Titan is just covered in carbon-bearing material -- it's a giant factory of organic chemicals,'' said Lorenz of John Hopkins University and team member of researchers, Science Daily reported.
''This vast carbon inventory is an important window into the geology and climate history of Titan,'' he added.
At minus 179 degrees celsius, Titan is a far cry from Earth. Instead of water, liquid hydrocarbons in the form of methane and ethane are present on the moon's surface, and ''tholins'' probably make up its dunes.
Cassini spacecraft has mapped about 20 per cent of Titan's surface with radar.
Several hundred lakes and seas have been observed, with each of several dozen estimated to contain more hydrocarbon liquid than Earth's oil and gas reserves.
The dark dunes that run along the equator contain a volume of organics several hundred times larger than Earth's coal reserves.
Proven reserves of natural gas on Earth total 130 billion tonnes, enough to provide 300 times the amount of energy the entire United States uses annually for residential heating, cooling and lighting.
Dozens of Titan's lakes individually have the equivalent of at least this much energy in the form of methane and ethane.