CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Maps of Titan - January 2009

These updated maps of Saturn's moon Titan, consisting of data from the Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem, include Cassini's August 2008 images of the moon's north polar region.

Evidence from Cassini's Imaging Science Subsystem, RADAR, and Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer instruments strongly suggests that dark areas near the poles are lakes of liquid hydrocarbons -- an analysis affirmed by images capturing changes in the lakes thought to be brought on by rainfall.

Colored lines in the polar portions of these maps illustrate the boundaries between surface regions having different albedos -- or differences in surface brightness -- which Cassini scientists have interpreted as potential shorelines. Blue outlines indicate features that changed between observations made one year apart (see PIA11147).

The top map is a simple cylindrical projection. Atmospheric effects complicate incorporation of data from high northern latitudes, which are shown separately in a polar view. The map at bottom left is a north polar projection showing latitudes 55 degrees to 90 degrees. The bottom right map is a south polar projection showing latitudes minus55 degrees to minus90 degrees.

The maps are compiled from images dating from April 2004 through August 2008, and their resolutions vary from several hundred meters to a few tens of kilometers. Brightness variations are due to differences in surface albedo rather than topographic shading.

The Cassini Equinox Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: January 29, 2009 (PIA 11146)
Image/Caption Information
  Maps of Titan - January 2009
PIA 11146

Avg Rating: 8.26/10

Full Size 1884x2000:
PNG 2.1 MB
TIFF 11.3 MB

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PNG 649 KB

Alliance Member Comments
JKoulouris (Jan 6, 2010 at 12:32 PM):
Well, here it is everyone..... SIKUN, a planet from Frank Herberts' Novel and Series "DUNE" has made it on the surface of Saturns' largest moon TITAN.

Why have I the good feeling that there is more of this to come? :)

Here is the official News Release as entered in the IAU/USGS Planetary Gazetteer Website;


The descriptor term labyrinthus has been approved for use on Titan with the theme "Names of Planets from the Dune series of science fiction novels by American author Frank Herbert (1920-1986)." The name Sikun Labyrinthus has been approved for the feature located at 78S, 29W.

ENTRY_POSTED_BY JENNIFER BLUE on Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 08:26.

The above News Release may be accessed and read online at;

For a list official Nomenclature of TITAN surface features by surface feature type, you may access the following URL online at;

Many Thanks to Carolyn and the CICLOPS Team for the Excellent Images,
to JPL, NASA, the ESA, USGS, IAU, to the CASSINI/HUYGENS Mission Scientists,
and to all who have participated in unveiling the hidden beauty and wonders of our known Solar System, and our Cosmic domain.

With Best of Regards,

John A. Koulouris,(Esq.)
Planetary Cartographer/Writer
Astereion- Orion Project
Laval, CANADA.
JKoulouris (Sep 23, 2009 at 2:01 PM):
KRAKEN, SANTORINI, ONTARIO and XANADU, hold on tight because here comes CALADAN, ARRAKIS, and the rest of the "DUNE" gang!

Keep the great images coming CICLOPS Team, and we'll keep submitting the names according to IAU/WGPSN Assigned Planetary Surface Nomenclature Categories and Themes.

Best Regards to all CICLOPS Alliance Members,

John A. Koulouris,(Esq.)
Planetary Cartographer / Writer
Astereion- Orion Project,
Laval, CANADA.
Red_dragon (Feb 16, 2009 at 10:40 AM):
The best of this map is to compare it with other Titan maps released earlier and to see how is improving our knowledge of that world