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Carl Sagan Institute

CSI papers published: Titan as Revealed by the Cassini Radar

17 Jun 2019, 04:48 UTC
CSI papers published: Titan as Revealed by the Cassini Radar

Titan as Revealed by the Cassini Radar by R.M.C. Lopes, CSI members Alex Hayes, Jonathan Lunine, Valerio Poggiali, and colleagues; email: jlunine@astro.cornell.edu

Titan was a mostly unknown world prior to the Cassini spacecraft’s arrival in July 2004. We review the major scientific advances made by Cassini’s Titan Radar Mapper (RADAR) during 13 years of Cassini’s exploration of Saturn and its moons. RADAR measurements revealed Titan’s surface geology, observed lakes and seas of mostly liquid methane in the polar regions, measured the depth of several lakes and seas, detected temporal changes on its surface, and provided key evidence that Titan contains an interior ocean. As a result of the Cassini mission, Titan has gone from an uncharted world to one that exhibits a variety of Earth-like geologic processes and surface-atmosphere interactions. Titan has also joined the ranks of “ocean worlds” along with Enceladus and Europa, which are prime targets for astrobiological research.

Alexander Hayes, Astronomy

Jonathan Lunine, Astronomy & Planetary Science

Valerio Poggiali, Astronomy & Planetary Sciences

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