New images from NASA’s Cassini orbiter show glare of sunlight reflected from the surface of the lake on Titan’s satellite.
“If that's right, this discovery shows the first surface of the sea beyond the Earth,” writes astronomer Jason Barnes, of the University of Idaho, in his report presented at the Lunar and Planetary Scientific Conference in Houston this week.
The four dimensions of the northern polar region of Titan, made by the Visual and Infrared Spectrometer of maps on July 26 and September 12, 2013, installed on board the Cassini spacecraft, show wavy seas reflecting the Sun. “We cannot exclude silt deposits in the fluid layer as the source of this phenomenon,” Barnes added.
"If the roughness is really due to the waves, then it implies a wind (about) 0, 76 meters per second (2.5 feet per second)," he wrote.
The measurements were carried out in a region known as Punga Mare, one of several hydrocarbon seas located at the north pole of Titan.