Scientists modeled how methane rainfall runoff would interact with the porous, icy crust of Saturn's moon Titan and found that a subsurface methane 'aquifer' might have its composition changed over time due to the formation of materials called clathrates.
Only a sharp and careful eye can make out the subtle variations in Titan's clouds when viewed in visible light by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. This infrared image clearly reveals a band around the Titan's north pole.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft peers down though layers of haze to glimpse the lakes of Titan's northern regions. Titan has a hydrological cycle similar to Earth's, but instead of water, Titan's lakes and seas are filled with liquid methane and ethane.
This artist's concept shows a possible model of Titan's internal structure that incorporates data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. A model of Cassini is shown making a targeted flyby over Titan's cloudtops; Saturn and Enceladus appear at upper right.
Using a special spectral filter, NASA's Cassini spacecraft was able to peer through the hazy atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan. This image features the largest seas and some of the many hydrocarbon lakes that are present on Titan's surface.
Slipping into shadow, the south polar vortex at Saturn's moon Titan still stands out against the orange and blue haze layers that are characteristic of Titan's atmosphere. Images like this, from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
This frame from a colorized flyover movie from NASA's Cassini mission shows the two largest seas on Saturn's moon Titan and nearby lakes. The liquid in Titan's lakes and seas is mostly methane and ethane.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft uses special infrared glasses to peer through Titan's haze and monitor its surface inequatorial region dubbed 'Senkyo.' The dark features are believed to be vast dunes of hydrocarbon particles.
The vast hydrocarbon seas and lakes (dark shapes) near the north pole of Saturn's moon Titan sprawl out beneath the watchful eye of NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Scientists are studying images like these for clues about how Titan's hydrocarbon lakes formed.
Ultracold hydrocarbon lakes and seas (dark shapes) near the north pole of Saturn's moon Titan can be seen embedded in some kind of bright surface material in this infrared mosaic from NASA's Cassini mission.
This false-color mosaic, made from infrared data collected by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, reveals the differences in the composition of surface materials around hydrocarbon lakes at Titan, Saturn's largest moon.
Titan's polar collar, previously seen by Voyager 2 and the Hubble Space Telescope, has now been observed by the Cassini spacecraft, seen here in ultraviolet light. The collar is believed to be seasonal in nature.
Although hidden from human eyes, NASA's Cassini spacecraft can spot these dark features on the surface of Titan dubbed 'Fensal' and 'Aztlan.' The dark features are believed to be vast dunes of particles that precipitated out of Titan's atmosphere.