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.
For a long time researches observing the Saturn and its system of satellites, and came to a conclusion, that liquid lakes on Titan can dry up completely. The American Kassini spacecraft and its onboard scientific tools long time investigated the largest satellite of Saturn – the Titan, which is known that is the only heavenly body in our Solar System, without considering our own planet, which has liquid on the surface. Notorious lakes on Titan play on this natural satellite the same role, as water on Earth. Methane on the Titan takes active part in liquid circulation. It evaporates, and then drops out in the form of a precipitation. Everything happens practically just as and on Earth to water. Recently, scientists came to a conclusion, that on the Titan is not only methane, but also ethane, which evaporates not as rapidly as methane, but also it can not help the Titan, with preservation of its liquid on a surface. By estimates of scientists of team of the American Space Agency NASA
A team led by Christophe Sotin of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, drew a conclusion, that there is not only methane on the Titan, but also his colleague – ethane. Titan is the largest satellite of Saturn For a long time the scientists from the American Space Agency NASA investigated the largest natural satellite of Saturn – the Titan, who is well-known for that is the only heavenly body, except Earth, which has stable liquid on the surface. It is known, that the Titan has liquid methane lakes of the surface. Methane on a surface of the Titan plays the same role, as water on Earth. It evaporates, and then drops out in the form of a precipitation. Long-term supervision over a surface of the Titan with help of the American spacecraft Kassini satellite and its onboard scientific tools show that the lakes on a surface of the Titan gradually dry up and become the smaller size on the occupied space.
A recent study finds that the lake known as Ontario Lacus on Saturn’s moon Titan (left) bears striking similarity to a salt pan on Earth known as the Etosha Pan (right). A group led by Thomas Cornet of the Université de Nantes, France, a Cassini associate, found evidence for long-standing channels etched into the lake bed within the southern boundary of the depression. This suggests that Ontario Lacus, previously thought to be completely filled with liquid hydrocarbons, could actually be a depression that drains and refills from below, exposing liquid areas ringed by materials like saturated sand or mudflats.
Less than three weeks after its last visit to the Saturnian moon Enceladus, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft returns for an encore. At closest approach on April 14, the spacecraft will be just as low over the moon’s south polar region as it was on March 27 46 miles, or 74 kilometers. Enceladus is the sixth-largest of the moons of Saturn. It was discovered in 1789 by William Herschel.
According to a new study that may contradict the reigning moon-formation theory far more of the moon may be made of material from Earth than previously thought. Scientists have suggested that the moon was created when a Mars-size object named Theia collided with Earth 4.5 billion years ago, with more than 40 percent of the moon made up of debris from this impacting body. However, researchers had expected this alien world to be chemically different from Earth, and past studies have revealed that the moon and Earth appear quite similar when it comes to versions of elements called isotopes, more so than might be suggested by the current Theia model.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft took this raw, unprocessed image of Saturn’s moon Rhea on March 10, 2012. Rhea is the second-largest moon of Saturn and the ninth largest moon in the Solar System. It was discovered in 1672 by Giovanni Domenico Cassini. Saturn’s second largest moon Rhea is an icy body with a density of about 1.236 g/cm3. Rhea is named after the Titan Rhea of Greek mythology, “mother of the gods”.
In new photo, snapped by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft on January 5, 2012, Saturn’s rings cast shadows on the huge planet. Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is visible just below the rings, in the upper right of the picture. Just above the rings sits the tiny moon Prometheus, barely visible as a tiny white speck. At 3,200 miles (5,150 kilometers) in diameter, Titan is nearly 50 percent wider than Earth’s moon. The only moon in our solar system larger than Titan is Ganymede, which orbits Jupiter.
This series of false-color images obtained by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows the dissolving cloud cover over the north pole of Saturn’s moon Titan. The images, obtained by Cassini’s visual and infrared mapping spectrometer (VIMS), cover 2006 to 2009, when Titan was transitioning from northern winter to northern spring. In 2006, the north polar cloud appeared dense and opaque. But in spectrometer images obtained around the 2009 equinox, when the sun was directly over Saturn and Titan’s equators and northern winter was turning into spring, the cloud appeared much thinner and patchier.