Cassini's radar instrument images show that a bright feature appeared in Kraken Mare, Titan's largest sea
Cassini's radar instrument images show that a bright feature appeared in Kraken Mare, Titan's largest sea

Two mysterious-looking features have been spotted on the surface of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, that astronomers believe could be related to the "magic island" seen briefly earlier this year.

In June, the Cassini satellite saw the brief appearance and then disappearance of the so-called magic island, a feature of about 100 miles across which was thought to be possible evidence of waves on the moon.

The satellite then took images of Titan's largest sea, Kraken Mare (made up of hydrocarbons rather than water), on a fly-by in August, near the mouth of a flooded river valley and analysis of them is said to have uncovered "two new bright features" (one of which can be seen below).

A release by Nasa says: "[the] data suggest the new features might have similarities to places in and around the seas that the Cassini team has interpreted as waves or wet ground."

After ten years there, Titan still can surprise us. Titan has dunes, lakes, seas, even rivers. All this makes Titan an explorer's utopia.

We are likely to see more islands showing up. These lakes and seas are dynamic places.

  • Alexander Hayes, Cornell University
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