Ashmit Singh

Ashmit Singh

Grade: 10

School: Modern School Barakhamba Road

City: New Delhi

Topic: Titania

Subsurface oceans are oceans of liquid water below the surface of celestial objects. These are undetectable in images, so instead, a magnetic field detection technique is used to prove their existence. There is a growing possibility that Titania - one of the largest moons of Uranus hosts such oceans. The images taken by the 1986 Voyager 2 flyby imply that Titania is differentiated into a rocky core and an icy mantle. Therefore, the presence of an anti-freeze like Ammonium hydrate inside the ice could lead to the formation of a layer of liquid water at the core-mantle boundary, forming a global subsurface ocean.

Titania 312

Researchers have observed that hydrothermal activity allows seawater and minerals from a planet's crust to react and create a warm environment containing hydrogen. This creates mineral-rich chimneys with alkaline and acidic fluids, providing a source of energy that facilitates chemical reactions between hydrogen and carbon dioxide to form increasingly complex organic compounds, which in turn leads to the formation of simple carbon-based organisms. Geological similarities between Titania and the Saturn moon Titan create the possibility of hydrothermal activity in the subsurface oceans of Titania like the oceans on Titan, especially if Titania’s oceans are in contact with hot rocks. Carbon dioxide has also been discovered on Titania’s surface through Infrared Spectroscopy, thus making this life-creating reaction even more probable.

Therefore, further research on Titania along with probing missions is important to detect the presence and features of its subsurface oceans. This research shall pave the way for investigating the possible presence of life on Titania. Simultaneously, it will give us better insight into the impact of subsurface oceans on the surface changes of celestial bodies, especially Icy Giant moons, thus leading to findings relevant to other celestial bodies as well.

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