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Lakefront Property on Titan:

On July 2006, the Cassini orbiter made one of many flybys of Saturn's moon, Titan. Radar imagery of the northern regions of the moon revealed the darkest features discovered.

Titan - July 2006

While the data from the Huygens probe has yet to be completed, initial interpretation suggests there are no active features contributing to methane replenishment; however, there is evidence that suggests a slight raining of methane - more like drizzle.

Titan - Lakes of the Northern Regions

The lakes in the image above are pretty obvious, and look strangly enough like a black and white satellite image from Earth. The dark patches are the darkest objects seen on Titan so far, and there is a 90% possibility that these are liquid ethane and methane filled lakes.

Scientists have searched for these lakes for some time. There were some candidates discovered by radar imagery in the southern hemisphere, but these were not as dark and look more like rivers - similar to the landing site of the Huygens probe.

It is suggested that these lakes are the source of the methane smog in the atmosphere. Since it is thought there are no methods of methane replenishment, these lakes will evaporate completely at some point in the future.

The drizzle on Titan is constant, but not enough to form the features seen on the surface. Heat generated by the Sun at the southern hemisphere could generate periods of strong winds that result in the possibility of methane storms - the Earth analogue of monsoons.

Source: "Great Lake of Titan" by Selby Cull, Sky and Telescope July 28, 2006.

 

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