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NASA reveals first-ever photo of liquid on another world

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Thom Patterson
CNN
Sunday, Dec 20th, 2009

NASA scientists revealed Friday a first-of-its-kind image from space showing reflecting sunlight from a lake on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.

A photo from Cassini shows sunlight reflecting from a giant lake of methane on the northern half of Saturn's moon Titan.

It’s the first visual “smoking gun” evidence of liquid on the northern hemisphere of the moon, scientists said, and the first-ever photo from another world showing a “specular reflection” — which is reflection of light from an extremely smooth surface and in this case, a liquid one.

“This is the first time outside Earth we’ve seen specular reflection from another liquid from another body,” said Ralf Jaumann, a scientist analyzing data from the Cassini unmanned space probe.

Jaumann said he was surprised when he first saw the photos transmitting from Cassini, orbiting Saturn about a billion miles from Earth.

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This article was posted: Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 5:18 am





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