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News Notes

Space
Cassini sees lakes on Titan

Image is courtesy of NASA/JPL/USGS.

For two decades, scientists have thought that Saturn’s moon Titan likely contained lakes or oceans of liquid methane and ethane, but had not been able to confirm their existence. Now, radar imaging from the July 22, 2006, flyby of the Cassini spacecraft is providing what researchers call “convincing evidence” for large bodies of liquid, as published in the Jan. 4 Nature. The bodies of water are shown in darker blue than the surrounding terrain. Such bodies could account for the vast amount of methane in Titan’s hazy atmosphere.

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