Bright spots on the Titan used to be the lakes
Bright spots on the Titan used to be the lakes

Bright spots on the Titan used to be the lakes: the satellite of the Saturn does not cease to amaze the astronomers

Bright spots on the Titan used to be the lakes

The astronomers discovered bright flat spots on the Saturn’s satellite Titan. It is possible that they could be ancient lakes. A new theory of the largest satellite of the gas giant will allow science to solve the 20-year-old riddle. Over the past twenty years, the scientists who use radio telescopes to study outer space have drawn attention to a series of bright signals that come from the equator of the Titan.

Such signals are called specular reflection. They arise at a time when electromagnetic waves are reflected from a flat surface at a certain angle. One explanation of that phenomenon was that: in the equatorial tropics of the Titan could be fluid in huge volumes. In 2004, NASA's Cassini spacecraft that made a mission to the Saturn, transmitted images confirming that one of the planet’s moons, the Titan, is covered by the seas and lakes.


But they were not traditional for the Earth. These seas and lakes did not consist of water, but of ethane and methane. Jason Hofgartner from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory claims that today, the Titan is the only cosmic object in the Universe that has liquids and known to science.

The location of the seas and oceans of the Titan is concentrated not in the tropical territories, but near the poles. The areas in the titanium images show mirror reflections that are strange. The researchers have found out what it may be related to: the specular reflections come from some specific points.

It can be the planetary rainfall, the dunes, a dried lake or the bottom of the lake, that explain the location of the signal. Until 2034, the scientists may speculate, suggesting various theories.


In 2034, NASA intends to land the Dragonfly spacecraft-drone on the Titan. It will be with the necessary equipment to study the areas of dry lakes near the equator.