Latest in Science

Image credit:

NASA creates the first topographic map of Titan, Saturn's largest moon

33 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Scientists observing Saturn's moon Titan with NASA's Cassini spacecraft have boldly gone where no man has gone before -- visually, anyway. Using radar imagery collected from nine years of Cassini flybys, researchers were able to patch together the first global topographic map of Titan, published in the July 2013 issue of Icarus. Ralph Lorenz, a member of the Cassini radar team at Johns Hopkins, said, "Titan has so much interesting activity -- like flowing liquids and moving sand dunes -- but to understand these processes it's useful to know how the terrain slopes." In particular, understanding the moon's terrain can reveal a lot about its dynamic climate system. Like Earth, Titan's atmosphere is composed primarily of nitrogen, but the liquids and vapors on the moon's surface are made of methane and other organic chemicals integral to the creation of complex life. By studying the relationship between atmosphere and terrain, researchers hope to learn more about the evolution of life in its earliest stages, and inspire curious minds to turn their eyes toward Titan.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
33 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Bungie pulls popular gun from 'Destiny 2' after discovering exploit

Bungie pulls popular gun from 'Destiny 2' after discovering exploit

View
Google to fix 'bug' that uploads free full-quality iPhone pics to Photos

Google to fix 'bug' that uploads free full-quality iPhone pics to Photos

View
Instagram test helps you choose people to unfollow

Instagram test helps you choose people to unfollow

View
Qantas completes record 19-hour flight to test limits of air travel

Qantas completes record 19-hour flight to test limits of air travel

View
The best trackballs

The best trackballs

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr