NASA's Cassini captures sunlight glinting off Titan's seas

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has recently observed sunlight glinting off of Titan's north polar seas.

NASA's Cassini captures sunlight glinting off Titan's seas

Washington: NASA's Cassini spacecraft has recently observed sunlight glinting off of Titan's north polar seas.

Titan's seas are mostly liquid methane and ethane. Before Cassini's arrival at Saturn, scientists suspected that Titan might have bodies of open liquid on its surface.

Cassini found only great fields of sand dunes near the equator and lower latitudes, but located lakes and seas near the poles, particularly in the north.

In the past, Cassini had captured, separately, views of the polar seas and the sun glinting off them, but this was the first time both have been seen together in the same view.

The sea glinting in sunlight was Kraken Mare, Titan 's larges body of water. Surrounding Kraken Mare was a "bathtub ring," an old coastline that suggested the sea was at a higher level than it is now.

This observation was captured by Cassini's Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) on Aug. 21.

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