The Cassini spacecraft has sent back thousands of beautiful photographs of Saturn and its moons, but this latest one has to rank as one of the best. This view of Saturn, as it is backlit by the Sun, is magnificent, almost surreal looking. And it’s real. In the lower left, two of Saturn’s moons can also be seen as small dots; Enceladus is closest to the planet and Tethys is a bit farther out. Simply breathtaking…
Want to go river rafting on Titan? The largest moon of Saturn is the only other place in the solar system known to have rivers, lakes and seas on its surface. Appearance-wise, they are eerily similar to their earthly counterparts, but are composed of liquid methane instead of water, in Titan’s extremely cold environment. Now, the Cassini spacecraft has found the largest Titanian river system yet, similar to the Nile River on Earth, as announced on December 12, 2012.
With its methane lakes, rivers and rain, Titan is already one of the most fascinating worlds in our solar system, with intriguing parallels to Earth despite the much colder climate.
Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is in many ways one of the most Earth-like places in the solar system. More like a planet than most moons, it is the only other world, so far anyway, known to have lakes on its surface. Similar to the hydrological cycle on Earth, the lakes are filled by rain, which also creates rivers and streams. Titan, however, is much colder than Earth, so the liquid is methane / ethane, not water.
This discovery has made Titan one of the most fascinating destinations for further exploration. The Cassini spacecraft has increased our knowledge many-fold, but there is only so much that can be done from orbit. But now a new mission proposal may change that, one which would actually send a boat to land in one of the lakes in the northern hemisphere.
See Examiner.com for the full article.
The Cassini spacecraft has returned some beautiful new images of Saturn and its largest moon Titan. The photo above shows Titan passing in front of Saturn from Cassini’s viewpoint; Saturn’s rings are seen almost edge-on with their shadows below them arcing across Saturn’s atmosphere. Simply breathtaking…