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A giant cloud half the size of the United States has been imaged on Saturn’s moon Titan by the Cassini spacecraft.
The cloud may be responsible for the material that fills the lakes discovered last year by Cassini's radar instrument.
Cloaked by winter's shadow, this cloud has now come into view as winter turns to spring.
The cloud extends down to 60 degrees north latitude, is roughly 2400 kilometers (1,491 Miles) in diameter and engulfs almost the entire north pole of Titan.
The new image was acquired on 29 December 2006, by Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer (VIMS).
Scientific models predicted this cloud system but it had never been imaged with such details before.
These findings reinforce the idea that methane rains down onto the surface to form lakes, and then evaporates to form clouds. Scientists compare this methane cycle to the hydrological cycle on Earth, dubbing it 'methane-ologic cycle'.