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     Mystery on Titan

    SaturnSomething unexplained has appeared in the images from the radar camera on the Cassini probe, in orbit amongst Saturn's moons, A series of images taken of Ligeia Mare, a great hydrocarbon sea on Titan contain evidence of something that is reflective to radio waves. Its size has changed between 75 and 160 square kilometres over two years, and in the 2007 pass, was not visible at all.


    The mysterious feature, which appears bright in radar images against the dark background of the liquid sea, was first spotted during Cassini's July 2013 Titan flyby. Previous observations showed no sign of bright features in that part of Ligeia Mare. Scientists were perplexed to find the feature had vanished when they looked again, over several months, with low-resolution radar and Cassini's infrared imager. This led some team members to suggest it might have been a transient feature. But during Cassini's flyby on August 21, 2014, the feature was again visible, and its appearance had changed during the 11 months since it was last seen. Scientists on the radar team are confident that the feature is not an artifact, or flaw, in their data, which would have been one of the simplest explanations. They also do not see evidence that its appearance results from evaporation in the sea, as the overall shoreline of Ligeia Mare has not changed noticeably.

    Note: Credit: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory 30 Sept 2014
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    Unexplained

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