Rose-Marie Baland of the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels is the lead author of the new study. Previous studies found that “Titan’s tilt and moment of inertia don’t make much sense if the moon is a completely solid body — but that the numbers could work out if the moon has an underground ocean.”
Baland and her colleagues used the information from previous studies to launch their research, which led to the team’s conclusion that “Titan’s orbital behavior indeed makes sense if the moon is assumed to have a solid interior surrounded by a liquid-water ocean, which itself sits beneath an icy ‘shell.'”
The results of the study will be reported by Baland and her team in an upcoming issue of the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.