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Some lakes on Titan have ring-like shapes around them, and scientists are trying to find out how they formed. Understanding how they formed may tell us something about how the entire region they’re in, including the lakes, formed. The ring-shaped features are found around pools and lakes at Titan’s polar regions.
Thanks to the Cassini spacecraft, which spent 13 years studying Saturn and its moons, we know that the frigid moon Titan is an intriguing place. Cassini showed us that Titan has about 650 lakes and seas in its polar regions. We also know that about 300 of them have liquid ethane and methane in them, though they’re not all full.
Formation - Titan - Lakes - Surrounding - Features
“The formation of Titan’s lakes, and their surrounding features, remains an open question.”
Anezina Solomonidou, ESA research fellow at the European Space Astronomy Centre, and Lead Author of the study.
Bulk - Lakes - Titan - Edges - Floors
The bulk of the smaller lakes on Titan have sharp edges and flat floors. They can reach depths of 600 meters and they have narrow outer rims about 1 km wide.
But some of these lakes and pools have curious ring-shaped features around them that can extend up to 10 km inland. Scientists call them ramparts, and they totally enclose their host lake.
Study - Look - Rampart - Features - Study
A new study took a deeper look at these rampart features. The study is titled “Spectral and emissivity analysis of the raised ramparts around Titan’s northern lakes.” The lead author is Anezina Solomonidou, an ESA research fellow at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC.) They relied on data from Cassini’s Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) to measure the emissivity of the ramparts and other features on Titan, to find any similarities and differences.
“The formation of Titan’s lakes, and their surrounding features, remains an open question,” Solomonidou said in a press release. “Ramparts may hold important clues about how the lake-filled...
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