Thursday, February 03, 2005

More on LPSC Abstracts Part 2

On the liquid hydrocarbons front, Titan's Elusive Lakes?: Properties and Context of Dark Spots in Cassini Ta RADAR Data by Lorenz et al. and Liquid Hydrocarbons on Titan's Surface? How Cassini ISS Observations Fit into the Story (so far) by Turtle et al. presents the results thus far on the subject from RADAR and ISS respectively. Lorenz et al. present 4 RADAR dark regions, with backscatter properties similar to asphalt, including one that appears similar to an oxbow lake in morphology. However, Lorenz et al. Stops short of saying whether these dark regions with the Ta RADAR swath are lakes or not but simply concludes that these dark features are most likely smooth hydrocarbon deposits. Turtle et al. discusses the current ISS evidence for and against liquid hydrocarbon deposits. Turtle et al. use specular reflection to search for bodies of liquid (since large regions of micron-scale smooth, non-liquid, terrain is unlikely but certainly possible). Through Tb, no such specular reflection has been seen.

Finally, Cassini VIMS Preliminary Exploration of Titan's Surface Hemispheric Albedo Dichotomy by Nelson et al. Looks at photometric properties of the bright and dark terrain as well as "circular" features at 2.02 microns. The authors reveal that the albedo of the bright terrain is 20% and the dark terrain, >5%. The bright terrain value is similar to the DISR value (12-20%) while the dark terrain is darker than the DISR value (10-12%).


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