Topographic map of Saturn satellite Titan

The first topographic map of Saturn satellite Titan

Scientists collected a first-ever global topographic map of the Titan, the largest satellite of Saturn, using radar pictures from NASA spaceship. The new topographic map of the Titan represents the gathered pictures and data of radar of the spaceship of Cassini. It shows an unprecedented view of a surface of the Titan and has to help scientists to learn more about one of the heavenly bodies most similar to Earth in Solar system. By the words of Ralf Lorent (the member of team of the spaceship Cassini from laboratory of applied physics to Lorel, the State of Maryland) on the Titan there is a lot of interesting things: fluid liquids and movement of sandy dunes. But to understand these processes, it is necessary to know a district inclination. It is especially useful for those, who studies a hydrology and modeling of climate and weather of the Titan for which it is important to know about heights or lowlands for creation of models.

The Titan is the largest satellite of Saturn, and the only thing having clouds and the dense atmosphere. Scientists seek to study these clouds because of their similarity with the terrestrial. The atmosphere of the Titan, as well as terrestrial, generally consists of nitrogen 85%, about 12% were made by argon and less than 3% methane.

The atmosphere of the Titan rich with nitrogen also contains organic substances, derivatives from methane, which can become a basis to emergence there to life.

As a rule, NASA removes topography of planetary bodies with use of remote cameras for supervision of forms and landscape shadows, but the dense atmosphere of the Titan does it exigent.

Cassini flew by over the Titan of nearly 100 times as it arrived to Saturn in 2004. It uses radar to get through clouds. These radar measurements can be used for an assessment of height of topographic features of the Titan.

Unfortunately, because “Cassini” settles down not in an orbit of the Titan, it could photograph only a half of a surface of the satellite. Other part of the topographic map was constructed with help of mathematical model.