Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cassini discovers strange hills on Titan

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has found hills with odd radial patterns on Titan, Saturn's largest moon. As you can see in this picture, the hill top, center has straight line grooves as does the hill in the lower left quadrant. Stranger still is the hill, lower right which has an even stranger star shaped pattern. The grooved mounds, located in a northern hemisphere, are about 50 miles wide and about 200 feet high, and the patterns had not previously been seen on Titan before. Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory theorize that the patterns might be caused by tectonic forces, such as the forces that pull the crust of a planet apart, or rainfall that leads to erosion.


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