Astronomy Picture of the Day

Riverbeds and Lakebeds Discovered on Saturn's Titan

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#65385 by @ 25.01.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
Riverbeds and Lakebeds Discovered on Saturn's Titan

Methane rain, evaporating lakes, flowing rivers,
and water ice-volcanoes all likely exist on Saturn's moon Titan,
according to
preliminary analyses of recent images taken by the successful
Huygens lander.

A snaking and branching riverbed is identified with the
dark channel near the top of the
above image, while a dark lakebed is identified across the image bottom.

Both the riverbed and lakebed were
to be dry at the time the image was taken but contained a flowing liquid - likely methane - in the recent past.

Titan's surface was found to appear strangely similar to Earth even though it is so cold that
methane flows and water freezes into rock-hard ice.

Although the
Huygens probe has now run
out of power, the images it returned will likely be studied for
decades to come.

The Cassini mothership is
scheduled to continue to orbit
Saturn and return images for several more years.

Credit & Copyright
#80004 by @ 22.09.2005 10:24 - nach oben -
läck mer am tschöpli, dä zuefall! im pod und im apod gohts um dä titan...