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IPFS News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Depths of alien ocean probed with radar in Cassini study

• by Michael Irving

Titan is shrouded in a cloudy atmosphere of nitrogen, making it difficult to see the surface. So NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which orbited Saturn between 2004 and 2017, was equipped with radar to get a better look at the ground. And the resulting images revealed a surprisingly Earth-like landscape, complete with a "water" cycle made up of liquid hydrocarbons that pool in large oceans.

"The depth and composition of each of Titan's seas had already been measured, except for Titan's largest sea, Kraken Mare – which not only has a great name, but also contains about 80 percent of the moon's surface liquids," says Valerio Poggiali, lead author of the study.