APOD: Titan Seas Reflect Sunlight (2022 Mar 27)

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APOD Robot
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APOD: Titan Seas Reflect Sunlight (2022 Mar 27)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun Mar 27, 2022 4:05 am

Image Titan Seas Reflect Sunlight

Explanation: Why would the surface of Titan light up with a blinding flash? The reason: a sunglint from liquid seas. Saturn's moon Titan has numerous smooth lakes of methane that, when the angle is right, reflect sunlight as if they were mirrors. Pictured here in false-color, the robotic Cassini spacecraft that orbited Saturn from 2004 to 2017 imaged the cloud-covered Titan in 2014 in different bands of cloud-piercing infrared light. This specular reflection was so bright it saturated one of Cassini's infrared cameras. Although the sunglint was annoying -- it was also useful. The reflecting regions confirm that northern Titan houses a wide and complex array of seas with a geometry that indicates periods of significant evaporation. During its numerous passes of our Solar System's most mysterious moon, Cassini has revealed Titan to be a world with active weather -- including times when it rains a liquefied version of natural gas.

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AVAO
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Re: APOD: Titan Seas Reflect Sunlight (2022 Mar 27)

Post by AVAO » Sun Mar 27, 2022 7:05 am

APOD Robot wrote: Sun Mar 27, 2022 4:05 am Titan Seas Reflect Sunlight

Explanation: Why would the surface of Titan light up with a blinding flash? The reason: a sunglint from liquid seas. Saturn's moon Titan has numerous smooth lakes of methane that, when the angle is right, reflect sunlight as if they were mirrors. ...
Isn't there also the possibility that it could actually be a lightning phenomenon in Titan's atmosphere?
(The dark areas are lakes of methane, i think.)

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orin stepanek
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Re: APOD: Titan Seas Reflect Sunlight (2022 Mar 27)

Post by orin stepanek » Sun Mar 27, 2022 12:18 pm

TitanGlint_cassini_960.jpg
Amazing how the sun reflects off of Titan's lakes! 8-) Awesome photo!
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Useful kitty; where are your ears? :roll:
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Re: APOD: Titan Seas Reflect Sunlight (2022 Mar 27)

Post by johnnydeep » Sun Mar 27, 2022 4:07 pm

AVAO wrote: Sun Mar 27, 2022 7:05 am
APOD Robot wrote: Sun Mar 27, 2022 4:05 am Titan Seas Reflect Sunlight

Explanation: Why would the surface of Titan light up with a blinding flash? The reason: a sunglint from liquid seas. Saturn's moon Titan has numerous smooth lakes of methane that, when the angle is right, reflect sunlight as if they were mirrors. ...
Isn't there also the possibility that it could actually be a lightning phenomenon in Titan's atmosphere?
(The dark areas are lakes of methane, i think.)
...
I thought it actually was showing lightning at first until I read the description. Presumably the fact that it's in infrared, and the sun and photo angles are right, make lightning unlikely. I'm sure there must be other tell tale differences that rule out lightning as well?
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