Results tagged “Titan”

The Cassini mission has revealed hundreds of lakes and seas spread across the north polar region of Saturn's moon Titan. These lakes are filled not with water but with hydrocarbons, a form of organic compound that is also found naturally on Earth and includes methane.

As NASA's Cassini spacecraft sped away from Titan following a relatively close flyby, its cameras monitored the moon's northern polar region, capturing signs of renewed cloud activity.

A combined NASA and ESA-funded study has found firm evidence that nitrogen in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan originated in conditions similar to the cold birthplace of the most ancient comets from the Oort cloud. The finding rules out the possibility that Titan's building blocks formed within the warm disk of material thought to have surrounded the infant planet Saturn during its formation.

Titan's Polar Vortex

Titan's polar vortex stands illuminated where all else is in shadow. Scientists deduce that the vortex must extend higher into Titan's atmosphere than the surrounding clouds because it is still lit in images like this.

Scientists working with data from NASA's Cassini mission have developed a new way to understand the atmospheres of exoplanets by using Saturn's smog-enshrouded moon Titan as a stand-in.

Titan's Halo

NASA's Cassini spacecraft looks towards the dark side of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, capturing the blue halo caused by a haze layer that hovers high in the moon's atmosphere.

Cassini is providing scientists with key clues about Saturn's moon Titan, and in particular, its hydrocarbon lakes and seas.

Sunlit Edge of Titan

The sunlit edge of Titan's south polar vortex stands out distinctly against the darkness of the moon's unilluminated hazy atmosphere.

New Views of Titan's Land of Lakes

With the sun now shining down over the north pole of Saturn's moon Titan, a little luck with the weather, and trajectories that put the spacecraft into optimal viewing positions, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has obtained new pictures of the liquid methane and ethane seas and lakes that reside near Titan's north pole.

The NASA-ESA-ASI Cassini spacecraft has been observing the Saturn system, including the giant satellite Titan, for more than 9 years. A detailed analysis of Cassini data has now confirmed predictions that the density of Titan's ionosphere is directly linked to the 11 year cycle of solar activity.

Saturn's giant moon Titan is dotted with hydrocarbon lakes and seas that bear an uncanny resemblance to bodies of water on Earth. Strangely, though, Titan's lakes and seas have no waves.

Titan Features Fenzal and Aztlan

Although hidden from human eyes, the Cassini spacecraft can spot these dark features on the surface of Titan thanks to its special near-infrared filters. The features seen here have been dubbed "Fensal" and "Aztlan" by scientists. The dark features are believed to be vast dunes of particles that precipitated out of Titan's atmosphere.

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's Methane: Soon To Be Gone?

By tracking a part of the surface of Saturn's moon Titan over several years, NASA's Cassini mission has found a remarkable longevity to the hydrocarbon lakes on the moon's surface.

An ice cloud taking shape over Titan's south pole is the latest sign that the change of seasons is setting off a cascade of radical changes in the atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon. Made from an unknown ice, this type of cloud has long hung over Titan's north pole, where it is now fading, according to observations made by the composite infrared spectrometer (CIRS) on NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

Complex Chemistry at Titan

A laboratory experiment at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., simulating the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan suggests complex organic chemistry that could eventually lead to the building blocks of life extends lower in the atmosphere than previously thought.

Cassini Sees Titan Cooking up Smog

A paper published this week using data from NASA's Cassini mission describes in more detail than ever before how aerosols in the highest part of the atmosphere are kick-started at Saturn's moon Titan. Scientists want to understand aerosol formation at Titan because it could help predict the behavior of smoggy aerosol layers on Earth.

Titan's siblings must be jealous. While most of Saturn's moons display their ancient faces pockmarked by thousands of craters, Titan -- Saturn's largest moon -- may look much younger than it really is because its craters are getting erased. Dunes of exotic, hydrocarbon sand are slowly but steadily filling in its craters, according to new research using observations from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

A new paper by scientists on NASA's Cassini mission finds that blocks of hydrocarbon ice might decorate the surface of existing lakes and seas of liquid hydrocarbon on Saturn's moon Titan.

The Unusual Moons of Saturn

Among the oddities of the outer solar system are the middle-sized moons of Saturn, a half-dozen icy bodies dwarfed by Saturn's massive moon Titan. According to a new model for the origin of the Saturn system, these middle-sized moons were spawned during giant impacts in which several major satellites merged to form Titan.

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