Cassini Sees Burning Cross on Titan, Confirms Stable Liquid Lakes

The latest radar images provide new glimpses of the mysterious moon

By on October 17th, 2012 13:30 GMT

It's fitting that on Cassini's 15th birthday we'd check to see what's been up to. NASA has just released some of the most recent images from the space probe, shots of Saturn's mysterious moon Titan, which was a big target of the Cassini-Huygens mission.

The radar images show some interesting formations on Titan's surface, which NASA compared to the cracks on freshly baked bread.

The images were taken on Cassini's May 22 flyby of the moon. The theory is that rising magma below the surface caused the formation of the cross-like cracks, which are some 70 km or 40 miles long. Similar formations were seen on Venus.

The recent pass also confirmed that the liquid lakes that were spotted in Titan's northern hemisphere were stable and are virtually unchanged from six years ago when the first images were shot.

Titan is the only other body in the Solar System with stable liquid lakes along with weather such as "rain."

Unlike on Earth, the lakes and rain are made out of hydrocarbon, ethane or methane, and are incredibly cold, some 179 degrees Celsius, 290 Fahrenheit or 94K.

Latests Titan shots from Cassini (2 Images)

Gallery Image
01
Gallery Image
02

Comments