Image of the Week: Piecing together the Titan puzzle
20 Aug 2012
This image is a composite of several images taken during two separate flybys of Titan on 9 October (T19) and 25 October (T20) 2006. It demonstrates the work planetary scientists do to piece together information from exploration satellites to interrogate the past processes and current conditions on a planet or moon.
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Exposing Titan’s Surface.
Credits: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona.
The large circular feature near the centre of Titan’s disk may be the remnant of a very old impact basin. The mountain ranges to the southeast of the circular feature, and the long dark, linear feature to the northwest of the old impact scar may have resulted from tectonic activity on Titan caused by the energy released when the impact occurred.
The 9-October images form the background globe for context, and the most recent images from the 25-October flyby are overlaid. The 9-October images were taken at an average distance of about 30 000 kilometres. The 25-October images were taken at a distance of 12 000 kilometres. The images were taken at wavelengths of 1.3 microns shown in blue, 2 microns shown in green, and 5 microns shown in red.
These images from the Cassini satellite are now being supplemented by data from the European Space Agency’s Huygens rover on the surface on Saturn’s largest moon.