Two new studies from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York show, once again, similarities between Earth and Saturn’s moon Titan. The first is a new global topographic map of Titan. The second, which builds on the first, shows that the liquid lakes and seas on Titan follow a constant elevation relative to Titan’s gravitational pull. In other words, just as Earth’s oceans lie at an average elevation that we call sea level, so do Titan’s seas.
Both studies are based on data from the Cassini spacecraft, which orbited Saturn – occasionally making close flybys of its large moon Titan – from 2004 to 2017. Both are published (here and here) in the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Paul Corlies is first author on the topography study, which resulted in an end-of-mission map of Titan via Cassini. The map revealed several new features on Titan, including new mountains, none higher than about 2,300 feet (700 meters). Corlies said:
The main point of the work was to create a map for use by the scientific community.
And he said that, within 30 minutes of the data set being available online, he began to receive inquiries on how to use it.
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