Lakes in Titan’s Northern Polar Region

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has now mapped out 60 percent of Titan’s north pole region, and it’s looking downright aquatic. At least 14% of the region revealed by Cassini is covered in what look like liquid hydrocarbon lakes. Take a look at the photo associated with this story, see the dark black regions? Those are lakes. But not lakes like we see them here on Earth.

The new images were mapped out by Cassini’s radar instruments, which can detect the smoothness of the surface of Titan. Extremely smooth sections are thought to be a liquid, while the bumpier regions are solid ground. The largest sea discovered so far has a surface area of 100,000 square kilometres (40,000 square miles), bigger than Lake Superior here on Earth.

Planetary scientists think the seas are filled with liquid ethane, methane and dissolved nitrogen. So far, more than 400 separate bodies of liquid have been discovered.

Original Source: NASA/JPL/SSI News Release