Titanic Liquid: Blinding ‘Sunglint’ Shines On Saturn’s Swampy Moon

In this near-infrared mosaic, the sun shines off of the seas on Saturn's moon, Titan. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/University of Idaho

In this near-infrared mosaic, the sun shines off of the seas on Saturn’s moon, Titan. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/University of Idaho

See that yellow smudge in the image above? That’s what the Sun looks like reflecting off the seas of Titan, that moon of Saturn that excites astrobiologists because its chemistry resembles what early Earth could have looked like. This image represents the first time this “sunglint” and Titan’s northern polar seas have been captured in one mosaic, NASA said.

What’s more, if you look closely at the sea surrounding the sunlight, you can see what scientists dub a “bathtub ring.” Besides looking pretty, this image from the Cassini spacecraft shows the huge sea (called Kraken Mare) was actually smaller at some point in Titan’s past.

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Read the rest of Titanic Liquid: Blinding ‘Sunglint’ Shines On Saturn’s Swampy Moon (235 words)


© Elizabeth Howell for Universe Today, 2014. |
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