Cassini Gets Its Best Look Ever at Titan’s Polar Lakes

Near-infrared mosaic image from Cassini of Titan's north polar region (NASA/JPL/SSI)
Near-infrared mosaic image from Cassini of Titan’s north polar region (NASA/JPL/SSI)

A combination of exceptionally clear weather, the steady approach of northern summer, and a poleward orbital path has given Cassini — and Cassini scientists — unprecedented views of countless lakes scattered across Titan’s north polar region. In the near-infrared mosaic above they can be seen as dark splotches and speckles scattered around the moon’s north pole. Previously observed mainly via radar, these are the best visual and infrared wavelength images ever obtained of Titan’s northern “land o’ lakes!”

(But don’t even think about going swimming in these lakes — they’re filled with liquid METHANE, nearly 300 degrees below zero!)

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