The ‘Ghost’ of a Massive Impact Sighted on Saturn’s Titan

Pia08425-480-275 A gigantic  impact scar may exist on the otherwise fresh face of Saturn's moon Titan, which has a scarcity of craters compared with other moons.

Robert Brown of the University of Arizona in Tucson and colleagues spotted the roughly circular, 1800-kilometre-wide bright patch near Titan's equator in infrared images snapped by the Cassini spacecraft.

New radar data suggest Titan's crust is fractured in this area, as would be expected following an impact. The team conclude that a 60-kilometre impactor slammed into Titan early in its history, creating the patch, which is  consistent with a 2006 study that identified possible deposits left by watery flows at its southern edge that issued from cracks left by the impact.

In contrast to newly created impact craters, the interior of the ghostly patch is only slightly lower than the landscape.

Image below: The Cassini flyover maps show the 3-D topography and height of the 1,200-meter mountain tops, the north polar lake country, the vast dunes more than 100 meters high that crisscross the moon, and the thick flows that may have flowed from possible ice volcanoes.


The Daily Galaxy via NASA/Cassini

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