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Cassini radar peers through Titan clouds
Posted: Fri, Oct 29, 2004, 8:54 PM ET (0054 GMT)
Cassini radar image of Titan, Oct 04 (NASA/JPL) Radar images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft have revealed that the surface of the moon Titan is complex and relatively young, scientists said Friday. Radar images of regions of Titan's northern hemisphere, taken by Cassini when it flew past the moon on Tuesday, discerned features as small as 300 meters across. Those images revealed a large, dark — and hence smooth — region that could be a lake, although scientists said there wasn't enough data to reach a firm conclusion. Both radar and optical images showed very few craters, suggesting that the surface is very young, perhaps because of volcanic or other geologic activity. Optical images showed streaks that could be related to moving ice sheets or flowing liquid hydrocarbons. Cassini is scheduled to make its next flyby of Titan on December 13; the European-built Huygens probe will enter Titan's atmosphere in mid-January.
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