Specular reflection on Titan: Liquids in Kraken Mare

Geophysical Research Letters
By: , and 



After more than 50 close flybys of Titan by the Cassini spacecraft, it has become evident that features similar in morphology to terrestrial lakes and seas exist in Titan's polar regions. As Titan progresses into northern spring, the much more numerous and larger lakes and seas in the north-polar region suggested by Cassini RADAR data, are becoming directly illuminated for the first time since the arrival of the Cassini spacecraft. This allows the Cassini optical instruments to search for specular reflections to provide further confirmation that liquids are present in these evident lakes. On July 8, 2009 Cassini VIMS detected a specular reflection in the north-polar region of Titan associated with Kraken Mare, one of Titan's large, presumed seas, indicating the lake's surface is smooth and free of scatterers with respect to the wavelength of 5 μm, where VIMS detected the specular signal, strongly suggesting it is liquid.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Specular reflection on Titan: Liquids in Kraken Mare
Series title Geophysical Research Letters
DOI 10.1029/2009GL042312
Volume 37
Issue 7
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher AGU
Contributing office(s) Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center
Description Article L07104; 5 p.
First page 1
Last page 5