Saturn Orbiter Images Islands in a Titan Methane Sea

onedomino

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A radar image from the amazing JPL/NASA Saturn orbiter:



On May 12, 2007, Cassini completed its 31st flyby of Saturn's moon Titan, which the team calls T30. The radar instrument obtained this image showing the coastline and numerous island groups of a portion of a large sea, consistent with the larger sea seen by the Cassini imaging instrument

Like other bodies of liquid seen on Titan, this feature reveals channels, islands, bays, and other features typical of terrestrial coastlines, and the liquid, most likely a combination of methane and ethane, appears very dark to the radar instrument. What is striking about this portion of the sea compared to other liquid bodies on Titan is the relative absence of brighter regions within it, suggesting that the depth of the liquid here exceeds tens of meters (tens of yards). Of particular note is the presence of isolated islands, which follow the same direction as the peninsula to their lower right, suggesting that they may be part of a mountain ridgeline that has been flooded. This is analogous to, for example, Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California.

Image resolution equals about 100 yds on a patch of “ground” 100 X 170 miles.

For more: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA09211 and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.cfm
 

Bullypulpit

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Wow! I tweaked the image a bit, sharpening it, decreasing the contrast and brightened it to bring out more detail. The linear artifact you see, running across just about the middle of the image, is likely where the the scans overlap.

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