Emily Lakdawalla • May 22, 2007
New territory on Titan
The other day I posted a global view of Titan featuring new territory near the north pole. Now the imaging team has released a much higher resolution version of this view, a mosaic composed of 29 separate frames. There are tons of curious details in this image, which shows a face of Titan that we haven't seen much of before: the trailing hemisphere, which faces the rear as Titan travels around Saturn in its orbit.
At first glance, this view looks pretty similar to Cassini's early global views of Titan, which all showed the opposite hemisphere. In the view above, the dark region called Belet looks pretty similar to the dark region of Shangri-La below, and the bright Adiri is a smaller version of the bright Xanadu below. Belet, above, even has its own little bright island that looks like Great Britain, like the one in Shangri-La (this "Great Britain" feature is now named Shikoku Facula).
Here are just two of the very strange looking areas within the T28 mosaic. The first one reminds me of a bowl of noodles:
The second one shows what looks like just the tips of several pretty straight dark features that march off the top of the frame toward the north pole:
They're not as straight as the "tiger stripes" (now more formally known as "sulci") on Enceladus' south pole, but the resemblance in form and location is curious.
What's next for these images? It'll be really interesting to see how these features in Cassini's camera images match up to features seen by RADAR. I'm sure there will be more to come on that. In the meantime, we just get to look at these blurry images of dark stuff and light stuff and scratch our heads.
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