NASA's Cassini may solve mystery of Titan's 'magic island'
NASA's Cassini mission has observed new, bright features in the hydrocarbon seas of Saturn's moon Titan.
Washington: NASA's Cassini mission has observed new, bright features in the hydrocarbon seas of Saturn's moon Titan.
According to scientists, the spacecraft sounded the depths near the mouth of a flooded river valley and observed that might be related to the mysterious feature that researchers dubbed the "magic island."
The two new bright features appeared in Titan 's largest sea, Kraken Mare and Cassini's Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) data suggest the new features might have similarities to places in and around the seas that the Cassini team has interpreted as waves or wet ground.
The spacecraft is also scheduled to observe the original "magic island" feature in Ligeia Mare once more, in January 2015.
Scientists think that, for the areas in which Cassini did not observe a radar echo from the seafloor, Kraken Mare might be too deep for the radar beam to penetrate.
Alternatively, the signal over this region might simply have been absorbed by the liquid, which is mostly methane and ethane. The altimetry data for the area in and around Kraken Mare also showed relatively steep slopes leading down to the sea, which also suggests the Kraken Mare might indeed be quite deep.