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Titans Kissing Lakes
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Titan's 'Kissing Lakes'

September 29, 2006

This Cassini radar image shows two lakes "kissing" each other on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan.

The image from a flyby on Sept. 23, 2006, covers an area about 60 kilometers (37 miles) wide by 40 kilometers (25 miles) high.

This pass was primarily dedicated to the ion and neutral mass spectrometer instrument, so although, the volume of radar data was small, scientists were amazed to see Earth-like lakes. With Titan's colder temperatures and hydrocarbon-rich atmosphere, however, the lakes likely contain a combination of methane and ethane, not water.

In this image, near 73 degrees north latitude, 46 degrees west longitude, two lakes are seen, each 20 to 25 kilometers (12 to 16 miles) across. They are joined by a relatively narrow channel. The lake on the right has lighter patches within it, indicating that it may be slowly drying out as the northern summer approaches.



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