NASA | JPL-Caltech | Arizona State University | 2019 Nov 18
The first map showing the global geology of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, has been completed and fully reveals a dynamic world of dunes, lakes, plains, craters and other terrains.The first global geologic map of Titan is based on radar and visible-light images
from NASA's Cassini mission, which orbited Saturn from 2004 to 2017. Labels
point to several of the named surface features. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU
Titan is the only planetary body in our solar system other than Earth known to have stable liquid on its surface. But instead of water raining down from clouds and filling lakes and seas as on Earth, on Titan what rains down is methane and ethane - hydrocarbons that we think of as gases but that behave as liquids in Titan's frigid climate.
"Titan has an active methane-based hydrologic cycle that has shaped a complex geologic landscape, making its surface one of most geologically diverse in the solar system," said Rosaly Lopes ...
"Despite the different materials, temperatures and gravity fields between Earth and Titan, many surface features are similar between the two worlds and can be interpreted as being products of the same geologic processes. The map shows that the different geologic terrains have a clear distribution with latitude, globally, and that some terrains cover far more area than others." ...
A Global Geomorphologic Map of Saturn’s Moon Titan ~ R. M. C. Lopes et al
- Nature Astronomy (online 18 Nov 2019) DOI: 10.1038/s41550-019-0917-6