Sunlight confirms liquid on Saturn’s moon
Washington: NASA`s Cassini Spacecraft has captured a glint of light reflecting from the surface of Saturn`s moon Titan, which confirms the presence of a lake filled with liquid.
The discovery makes Titan the only place besides Earth known to have a body of liquid on its surface.
Stephan et al. report the first detection of a directly visible glint, also called a specular reflection, which occurs when sunlight reflects off a smooth, mirror-like liquid surface.
NASA`s Cassini Spacecraft captured an image of the glint on 8 July 2009, and the researchers determined that it came from Kraken Mare, a large, lake-shaped basin near Titan`s north pole.
Until recently the northern polar regions of Titan had been in winter darkness since Cassini``s arrival in 2004; the recent direct illumination by sunlight made it possible to observe these optical reflections for the first time.
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