Tag Archives | titan


Titan’s rivers create a puzzle for geologists

Titan’s thick, methane- and nitrogen-rich atmosphere has for many years kept astronomers from seeing what lies beneath. Saturn’s largest moon appeared through telescopes as a frustratingly hazy orange orb, in contrast to other heavily cratered moons in the solar system. But in 2004, the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft penetrated Titan’s haze, providing scientists with their first detailed […]

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Cassini tracks equatorial methane rainstorms on Titan

Showers on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, have brought methane rains to its equatorial deserts, as revealed in images captured by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The observations, reported inScience, are the first of rain falling on Titan’s surface at low latitudes. The enormous arrow-shaped storm was captured by Cassini’s cameras as it soaked an area the size […]

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Brewing a primordial broth on Titan

Replicating the atmosphere of Titan and blasting it with UV light has allowed University of Arizona researchers to create organic macromolecules that they think are a model for the chemistry of pre-life Earth. Earth and Titan are the only known planetary-sized bodies that have thick, predominantly nitrogen atmospheres. “Titan is so interesting because its nitrogen-dominated […]

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Titan Moist, Say Cassini Boffins

Scientists using an instrument on NASA’s Cassini orbiter have confirmed that at least one other body in our solar system has a liquid lake. The lake, probably composed of ethane, is 150 miles long and located near the south pole of Saturn’s moon, Titan. The liquid lake was identified using Cassini’s visual and infrared mapping […]

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Strange Spot On Titan Baffles Boffins

Scientists are mystified by images from the spacecraft Cassini that show an unusual bright spot (lower right of pic) on Saturn’s moon Titan. The 483-kilometer-wide spot is just southeast of the bright region called Xanadu and is visible to multiple instruments on the Cassini probe. Scientists believe the area may be a “hot” spot – […]

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