Feeds

Cassini spies titanic lake on Titan

Bigger than Lake Superior

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has revealed giant lakes on Saturn's moon Titan, one of which - at 39,000 square miles - is bigger than Lake Superior.

One of Titan's lakes compared with Lake Superior

The features were captured by Cassini's radar near Titan's north pole. Although scientists can't be certain they're actually liquid-filled, "their dark appearance in radar that indicates smoothness and their other properties point to the presence of liquids", as the NASA press release explains.

If that's so, then the lakes' contents are likely to be a mixture of ethanes and methane "given the conditions on Titan and the abundance of methane and ethane gases and clouds in Titan's atmosphere".

Dr Jonathan Lunine, Cassini interdisciplinary scientist at the University of Arizona, said: "We've long hypothesized about oceans on Titan and now with multiple instruments we have a first indication of seas that dwarf the lakes seen previously."

Cassini scientists are now planning a May flypast aimed at confirming the titanic Lake Superior is indeed filled with liquid. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.