Using its radar system, the Cassini spacecraft has imaged new lakes on Titan.
The large dark patch seen on this image, at high latitudes surrounding Titan's north pole, is most likely a hydrocarbon lake. Several dark channels can be seen; the longest one at the left meanders over almost 100 kilometers (62 miles), and appears to drain into the lake. Some dark channels are remarkably straight, suggesting possible faulting in the subsurface. The bright landforms jutting into the lake indicate that old, eroded landforms may have flooded. For a different radar view from the same flyby see http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/multimedia/pia01943.html.
This radar image was acquired by the Cassini radar instrument in synthetic aperture mode on Oct. 9, 2006. The image is centered near 73 degrees north latitude, 343 degrees west longitude, and measures about 300 kilometers by 140 kilometers (190 miles by 90 miles). Smallest details in this image are about 500 meters (1,640 feet) across.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The radar instrument team is based at JPL, working with team members from the United States and several European countries.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov .
Image credit: NASA/JPL