March 24, 2009
Cassini obtains new images of Titan
The U.S. space agency's Cassini spacecraft has produced new movies and images of Saturn's moon Titan, providing new glimpses of its Earth-like landscapes.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the new flyover topographic maps were made from stereo pairs of radar images by Cassini radar team member Randy Kirk of the Astrogeology Science Center at the U.S. Geological Survey. NASA said Kirk used some of the 20 or so areas where two or more overlapping radar measurements were obtained during 19 Titan flybys. The stereo overlaps cover close to 2 percent of Titan's surface.
These flyovers let you take in the bird's-eye sweeping views of Titan, the next best thing to being there, said Kirk.
We've mapped many kinds of features and some of them remind me of Earth. Big seas, small lakes, rivers, dry river channels, mountains and sand dunes with hills poking out of them, lava flows.
Kirk presented his research Tuesday during a Lunar and Planetary Science Conference at The Woodlands, Texas. The images are available at: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA and the European and Italian space agencies. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., manages the mission.