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Originally posted by Vajrayana
Very nice work lizzardsamok!!
[edit on 28-1-2005 by Vajrayana]
This view of Titan’s south polar region reveals an intriguing dark feature that may be the site of a past or present lake of liquid hydrocarbons.
The true nature of this feature, seen here at left of center, is not yet known, but the shore-like smoothness of its perimeter and its presence in an area where frequent convective storm clouds have been observed by Cassini and Earth-based astronomers make it the best candidate thus far for an open body of liquid on Titan.
If this interpretation is correct, then other very dark but smaller features seen in the south polar region, some of which are captured in this image, may also be the sites of liquid hydrocarbon reservoirs.
In addition to the notion that the dark feature is or was a lake filled with liquid hydrocarbons, scientists have speculated about other possibilities. For instance, it is plausible that the 'lake' is simply a broad depression filled by dark, solid hydrocarbons falling from the atmosphere onto Titan’s surface. In this case, the smoothed outline might be the result of a process unrelated to rainfall, such as a sinkhole or a volcanic caldera.
A red cross below center in the scene marks the pole. The brightest features seen here are methane clouds. A movie sequence showing the evolution of bright clouds in the region during the same flyby is also available.