AstroTalk Episode August 11, 2016

Saturn and Its Moon Enceladus

3:09pm - 3:46pm

NASA's Cassini Spacecraft has discovered a large assortment of canyons on Titan, the biggest moon in the Saturn system. Large hydrocarbon lakes were also detected in the steep canyons. The depths of the canyons were measured by bouncing radar pings off the surface of Titan. The narrow branching channels of the canyon areas, named Vid Flumina, are quite narrow, but they are also quite deep, measuring anywhere from 790 - 1,870 feet. Titan is an interesting moon, featuring flowing hydrocarbon river, and hydrocarbon lakes. The clouds in Saturn's northern hemisphere, were imaged with infrared, IR, light, at wavelengths of 750, 727and 619 nanometers. Filters at these wavelengths were used because they are sensitive to the absorption and scattering of light with the methane that is found in Saturn's atmosphere. The water-moon Enceladus of Saturn, was also imaged. It appeared like a drop of dew floating on a leaf. But, it was just hovering Saturn's ring system.