Monday, May 02, 2005

New Titan Image: The Angular Bright Spot

Update: 05/26/2005: Those of you looking for the bright spot announced by VIMS and ISS yesterday (as I can see by how many people are coming to this page from google), you want to know about a different bright spot from this one. Check out my blog post on that discovery for more info.

CICLOPS has released this high resolution view of Titan's surface taken during April 16's T5 flyby. This image was taken from a distance of 43,000 km and has a resolution of 510 m/pixel. Since I can't beat my own writing, from the caption:
The 80-kilometer wide bright spot seen in the upper right portion of the image at right was first seen in images taken during a distant encounter of Titan shortly after Cassini's Saturn Orbit Insertion burn in July 2004. In images taken in March and now in the most recent flyby, this spot was shown to be roughly circular but the new, higher-resolution images reveal surprisingly angular edges. The angular margins suggest that they have been influenced by tectonic processes (for example, faulting). The sharp western margins and more diffuse bright material off the eastern margin are consistent with bright features seen within dark terrain in the region of Titan observed during previous flybys late last year and in February. The west-east nature of these features is consistent with "wakes" being formed through aeolian, or wind, activity.
The lower portion of the image shows the southern boundary of the dark region known as the "H".


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