CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Methane Rain on Titan's Deserts

As spring continues to unfold at Saturn, April showers on the planet's largest moon, Titan, have brought methane rain to its equatorial deserts. (News release can be found here.)

A view of Texas captured in 1965 from NASA's Gemini 4 spacecraft is also included here to show how dark areas in images can provide evidence of rainfall, whether on Earth or Titan.

Mar 17, 2011: Equatorial Titan Clouds - NASA's Cassini spacecraft chronicles the change of seasons as it captures clouds concentrated near the equator of Saturn's largest moon, Titan.
Mar 17, 2011: Titan's Moving Mid-Latitude Clouds - This movie shows clouds in the mid-southern latitudes of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, in a series of images captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft a few months after fall began in the southern hemisphere.
Mar 17, 2011: Titan's Arrow-Shaped Storm - A huge arrow-shaped storm blows across the equatorial region of Titan in this image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft, chronicling the seasonal weather changes on Saturn's largest moon.
Mar 17, 2011: Titan's Northern Polar Clouds - Clouds move above the large methane lakes and seas near the north pole of Saturn's moon Titan in this movie made from images taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
Mar 17, 2011: Northern Clouds in Motion - Clouds move above Titan's large methane lakes and seas near the moon's north pole in this movie made from images taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
Mar 17, 2011: Titanic Deluge - This series of images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows changes on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan, as the transition to northern spring brings methane rains to the moon's equatorial latitudes.
Mar 17, 2011: Brightening Adiri - Images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft show changes caused by methane rain in the bright Adiri region near the equator of Saturn's largest moon, Titan.
Mar 17, 2011: Rain-Darkened Texas - This image of Texas, obtained by astronauts aboard NASA's Gemini 4 spacecraft on June 5, 1965, shows a large dark swath attributed to rainfall.
Alliance Member Comments
Bontebok (Mar 23, 2011 at 3:48 AM):
It's amazing to see clouds and rainfall in other parts of our solar system, absolutely beautiful.

Great job guys, keep up the good work!
Red_dragon (Mar 17, 2011 at 5:22 PM):
Awesome job, CICLOPS!. Some years ago, I commented I hoped Cassini would spot rainfall on Titan's equator as spring advanced there and I'm glad to see I wasn't wrong.

As Carolyn says, the best is still to come; I'm quite sure during next years the clouds on Titan's north pole will vanish, clouds will appear on the satellite's south pole, and that the north pole seas will start to lose liquid due to weather conditions.

It's possible to know much has rained there?.

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