A Fresh Look at Northern Lakes on Titan

Clouds move above the large methane lakes and seas near the north pole of Saturn’s moon Titan in this single frame from an animation made with images taken by Cassini.

During closest approach of this Titan flyby, Cassini's visible and infrared mapping spectrometer (VIMS) instrument will, for the first time, acquire images of Punga Mare.

It will also view the surrounding area, including Ligeia Mare and some of the smaller lakes. These views can be compared to earlier images to provide information about seasonal variations. VIMS will then acquire a high-resolution swath over terrain from high northern latitudes to the equator at the anti-Saturn hemisphere. Following the closest approach period, VIMS will ride along with the composite infrared spectrometer (CIRS) and the ultraviolet imaging spectrograph (UVIS) instrument to image Titan's southern hemisphere at high incidence angle. It will also look at clouds to follow the evolution of the cloud system over the south pole.

Inbound, VIMS will ride along with the imaging science subsystem (ISS) to acquire a medium resolution mosaic of high northern latitudes. It will also look for clouds over the north pole to monitor the evolution of the cloud system as Titan approaches summer solstice.

VIMS will also look for specular reflection in an area located between latitudes 57 N and 60 N and between longitudes 131 W and 161 W.

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