Astronomy Picture of the Day
September 16, 2012

Drainage Channels and Shoreline on Titan
Drainage Channels and Shoreline on Titan

Credits: ESA/Huygens Probe - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/Lunar Explorer Italia/IPF

Today's APOD is one of the early RAW images returned to Earth by the ESA - Huygens Probe during its successful descent to Titan. The picture, in particiular, was taken from an altitude of about 16,2 Km, it has a resolution of approximately 40 metres per pixel and it shows, as you can see, quite a few relatively small and short Drainage Channels that are leading to a Shoreline. All these Drainage Channels should contain something that we speculate it could be some kind of liquid Hydrocarbons.


Since many Scientists, after having seen pictures like this one, and after having deeply studied other intriguing Titanian Surface Features as well as the Chemical Characteristics of Titan's Environment, have defined this Saturnian moon as "...a Primordial Version of our own Earth...", before any of our Readers may draw some wrong conclusion by looking at this highly suggestive and fascinating frame (whose quality, unfortunately, is far from being excellent), we wish to remind to you all that the average Surface Temperature on Titan is about minus 178/180° Celsius and, therefore, whatever the liquid flowing in those Channels might be, it must be something other than Water.


The ESA Original Huygens Probe b/w RAW Frame has been additionally processed and then colorized, according to an informed speculation carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga (LXTT-IPF), in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a human eye would actually perceive if someone were onboard the ESA - Huygens Probe and then looked down, towards the Surface of Titan), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team. Different colors, as well as different shades of the same color, mean, among others, the existence of different Elements present on the Surface of Titan, each having a different Albedo (---> Reflectivity) and Chemical Composition.



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