Latest Cassini data help fill in details about Saturnian moon’s surface
JPL-Caltech/NASA, ASI, USGS
Liquid methane and ethane flow through a subterranean plumbing system on Titan, which drains lakes and connects seas. That’s one of the first scientific results from the latest, most complete map of the Saturnian moon’s topography.
Planetary scientist Paul Corlies of Cornell University and colleagues released the map — based on all the data from NASA’s Cassini mission, which ended in September (SN Online: 9/15/17) — in Geophysical Research Letters on December 2.
Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, hosts seas, lakes, clouds and rain — all composed of hydrocarbons such as methane and ethane instead of water. The elevations of seas and mountains across 9 percent of Titan’s surface were directly recorded by Cassini as