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Target 3: Titan

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Target 3: Titan

Christen Gerhart


Software used by the Cassini science planning team simulates the field of view the cameras on board the Cassini spacecraft can capture at a specific date and time. This is a computer-generated image of Titan as seen by the Cassini spacecraft's Narrow Angle Camera on Oct. 11, 2009. For this two-image mosaic Cassini will also be using a filter sensitive to wavelengths of ultraviolet light centered at 338 nanometers. At this wavelength the high altitude detached haze layer in Titan's atmosphere is visible in light. Click on the image for a larger view.

Hi, I'm Christen, and I'm a student working for Cassini Science Planning through the CURE program.

I think target number three is the best choice.

Titan resembles Earth several billion years ago. It has a dense nitrogen atmosphere and many geological features that are similar to features found on Earth, such as dunes, rivers and lakes. However, on Titan the liquids that flow on the surface are methane and ethane instead of water.

Titan is surrounded by a thick haze, but Cassini's cameras can sometimes see surface features.

Titan has many possible interesting features such as volcanoes erupting water, ammonia, or methane instead of molten rock or lava.

This is called Cryovolcanism, which really intrigues scientists because it could explain some of the changes seen in TitanĂ­s atmosphere and would give them a closer look into TitanĂ­s interior composition.

So let's point Cassini's cameras at Titan for a great opportunity to observe a mysterious world.