During a recent flight near Saturn’s satellite Titan, NASA’s Cassini mission took some exciting photos of the small world, taking a picture of how sunlight reflects from the hydrocarbon seas.
Cassini had already observed solar glare on the surface of Titan, but for the first time observations were made (made in the form of a mosaic), where the border of the seas and glare of sunlight are visible at the same point.
Since the surface of Titan is very cold, the water on it cannot exist in liquid form. Instead, liquid methane (a substance that has a lower freezing point than water) from Titan's “great lakes” evaporates into the atmosphere as vapor, where it condenses and falls as rain to the surface. Similar to the cycle of water on earth, the cycle of methane on Titan forms rivers, valleys and seas. This photograph was taken by Cassini in visible and infrared light using a cartographic spectrometer on 21 August.