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Mystery patch found floating on Titan’s seas

A bright patch (right, circled) on one of Titan’s northern methane seas, shown as dark areas, appeared in a Cassini spacecraft image taken on July 10, 2013. The patch disappeared by July 16, 2013 and was not visible in earlier images (left).

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Guest post by Christopher Crockett

Something’s playing hide-and-seek in one of the methane seas on Titan, the largest of Saturn’s moons. New radar images from the Cassini spacecraft show a bright patch, roughly 20 kilometers on a side, pop up near the shoreline — and then disappear.

Planetary scientists think that the mystery blemish may be wind-driven waves, bubbles from the deep or siltlike deposits floating up from the seafloor. Researchers may be getting a first peek at seasonal changes as summer approaches on Titan’s northern hemisphere, the team suggests June 22 in Nature Geoscience.

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