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Specular reflection on Titan: Liquids in Kraken Mare

January 1, 2010

After more than 50 close flybys of Titan by the Cassini spacecraft, it has become evident that features similar in morphology to terrestrial lakes and seas exist in Titan's polar regions. As Titan progresses into northern spring, the much more numerous and larger lakes and seas in the north-polar region suggested by Cassini RADAR data, are becoming directly illuminated for the first time since the arrival of the Cassini spacecraft. This allows the Cassini optical instruments to search for specular reflections to provide further confirmation that liquids are present in these evident lakes. On July 8, 2009 Cassini VIMS detected a specular reflection in the north-polar region of Titan associated with Kraken Mare, one of Titan's large, presumed seas, indicating the lake's surface is smooth and free of scatterers with respect to the wavelength of 5 μm, where VIMS detected the specular signal, strongly suggesting it is liquid.

Publication Year 2010
Title Specular reflection on Titan: Liquids in Kraken Mare
DOI 10.1029/2009GL042312
Authors Katrin Stephan, Ralf Jaumann, Robert H. Brown, Jason M. Soderblom, Laurence A. Soderblom, Jason W. Barnes, Christophe Sotin, Caitlin A. Griffith, Randolph L. Kirk, Kevin H. Baines, Bonnie J. Buratti, Roger N. Clark, Dyer M. Lytle, Robert M. Nelson, Philip D. Nicholson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geophysical Research Letters
Index ID 70189025
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center