Titan's southern dunes


Cassini took this radar image during its 122nd encounter with Saturn’s largest moon. 


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NASA / JPL-Caltech / ASI / Universite Paris-Diderot

On 25 July, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft came within 976 kilometres of Titan, snapping this image with its synthetic aperture radar instrument revealing long, linear dunes on the moon’s surface.

An algorithm boosted contrast, and helped river channels at the bottom and upper left of the image stand out, as well as the crater-like feature at left.

Planetary scientists can use the dunes to learn about what sands they are composed of – they are thought to be made of grains derived from hydrocarbons in Titan’s atmosphere – as well as the winds and the topography of the landscape on the Saturnian moon.

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