Fly over Titan's methane lakes in NASA's video

The Cassini spacecraft has been gathering radar data on Titan, allowing scientists to knit together a dramatic view of its lakes and seas.

Titan lakes
A colorized mosaic from the Cassini probe shows the many lakes and seas on Titan, Saturn's moon. NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/USGS

Dreaming of an exotic vacation destination? How about relaxing on the shores of Kraken Mare, a hydrocarbon sea on Titan?

It's a tad chilly at minus 290 degree Fahrenheit, but that's a small discomfort compared with the wow factor of being at the only spot in our solar system -- outside Earth -- with stable surface liquid.

Thanks to the adventurous Cassini space probe, you can get an overview of this lovely land of lakes and seas in a dramatic NASA video of Saturn's biggest moon. The data form the most detailed view of the planet to date.

Aside from imaging Saturn's hexagonal north pole , Cassini has been doing flybys of Titan's northern hemisphere and using radar to probe formations such as Kraken Mare and Ligeia Mare, the largest seas, and local lakes.

The findings show most of the moon's lakes and seas are in an area covering about 600 miles by 1,100 miles, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in its release late last week.

The surface of the liquid, mostly methane, is probably smooth like the paint on Earthlings' cars, it added.

The volume of these hydrocarbon bodies of water is estimated at about 40 times more than in all the proven oil reservoirs on Earth, so expect drillships to launch soon.

"Ligeia Mare turned out to be just the right depth for radar to detect a signal back from the sea floor, which is a signal we didn't think we'd be able to get," NASA quoted Marco Mastrogiuseppe, a Cassini radar team associate at Sapienza University of Rome, as saying. "The measurement we made shows Ligeia to be deeper in at least one place than the average depth of Lake Michigan."

Check out the NASA video below presenting a flyover of Titan's liquid-y north.


 

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