Cassini sees sunny seas on Titan

Dark Matter Space

pia18432-16

This near-infrared, color view from Cassini shows the Sun glinting off of Titan’s north polar seas.

As it soared past Saturn’s large moon Titan recently, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft caught a glimpse of bright sunlight reflecting off hydrocarbon seas.

In the past, Cassini had captured separate views of the polar seas and the Sun glinting off them, but this is the first time both have been seen together in the same view.

Also in the image:

– An arrow-shaped complex of bright methane clouds hovers near Titan’s north pole. The clouds could be actively refilling the lakes with rainfall.

– A “bathtub ring,” or bright margin, around Kraken Mare — the sea containing the reflected sunglint — indicates that the sea was larger at some point, but evaporation has decreased its size.

Titan’s seas are mostly liquid methane and ethane. Before Cassini’s arrival at Saturn, scientists suspected that Titan might have…

View original post 63 more words

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s