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A New Crater on Titan?
02.16.07
a semi-circular feature on Titan that may be part of an impact crater

This radar image of Titan shows a semi-circular feature that may be part of an impact crater. Very few impact craters have been seen on Titan so far, implying that the surface is young. Each new crater identified on Titan helps scientists to constrain the age of the surface.

Taken by Cassini's radar mapper on Jan. 13, 2007, during a flyby of Titan, the image swath revealed what appeared to be the northernmost half of an impact crater. This crater is roughly 180 kilometers (110 miles) wide. Only three impact craters have been identified on Titan and several others, like this one, are likely to also have been caused by impact. The bright material is interpreted to be part of the crater's ejecta blanket, and is likely topographically higher than the surrounding plains. The inner part of the crater is dark, and may represent smooth deposits that have covered the inside of the crater.

This image was taken in synthetic aperture mode and has a resolution of approximately 350 meters (1,150 feet). North is toward the top left corner of the image, which is approximately 240 kilometers (150 miles) wide by 140 kilometers (90 miles) high. The image is centered at about 26.5 degrees north and 9 degrees west.

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 was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The radar instrument was built by JPL and the Italian Space Agency, 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

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