Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Saturn Moon Titan: 1st Global Topographic Map

Cassini Shapes First Global Topographic Map of Titan

Global Topographic Map of Titan These polar maps show the first global, topographic mapping of Saturn's moon Titan, using data from NASA's Cassini mission. To create these maps, scientists employed a mathematical process called splining, which uses smooth curved surfaces to "join" the areas between grids of existing topography profiles obtained by Cassini's radar instrument.Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/JHUAPL/Cornell/Weizmann
› Full image and caption


May 15, 2013

Scientists have created the first global topographic map of Saturn's moon Titan, giving researchers a valuable tool for learning more about one of the most Earth-like and interesting worlds in the solar system. The map was just published as part of a paper in the journal Icarus.

Titan is Saturn's largest moon - at 1,600 miles (2,574 kilometers) across it's bigger than planet Mercury - and is the second-largest moon in the solar system. Scientists care about Titan because it's the only moon in the solar system known to have clouds, surface liquids and a mysterious, thick atmosphere. The cold atmosphere is mostly nitrogen, like Earth's, but the organic compound methane on Titan acts the way water vapor does on Earth, forming clouds and falling as rain and carving the surface with rivers. Organic chemicals, derived from methane, are present in Titan's atmosphere, lakes and rivers and may offer clues about the origins of life.

More - Link >>> http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-161&cid=release_2013-161

Source: NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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