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New study has revealed that on Saturn largest moon there was an evidence of rainfall on the North Pole of Titan. The rainfall would be the first sign of the start of a summer season in the moon’s northern hemisphere.
“The whole Titan community has been looking forward to seeing clouds and rains on Titan’s north pole, indicating the start of the northern summer, but despite what the climate models had predicted, we weren’t even seeing any clouds,” said Rajani Dhingra, a doctoral student in physics at the University of Idaho in Moscow, and lead author of the new study accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. “People called it the curious case of missing clouds.”
Scientists have noticed a reflective feature near Saturn largest moon of Titan’s North Pole on an image that was taken June 7, 2016. According to phys.org “Dhingra and her colleagues identified a reflective feature near Titan’s north pole on an image taken June 7, 2016, by Cassini’s near-infrared instrument, the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer”.
This reflective feature covered approximately 46,332 square miles, roughly half the size of the Great Lakes, and did not appear on images from previous and subsequent Cassini passes.
“It’s like looking at a sunlit wet sidewalk,” Dhingra said. This reflective surface represents the first observations of summer rainfall on the moon’s northern hemisphere.
“We want our model predictions to match our observations. This rainfall detection proves Cassini’s climate follows the theoretical climate models we know of,” Dhingra said. “Summer is happening. It was delayed, but it’s happening. We will have to figure out what caused the delay, though.”
Source: Text; phys.org
Image credit; phys.org
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