NASA's Cassini spacecraft pinged the surface of Titan with microwaves, finding that some channels are deep, steep-sided canyons filled with liquid hydrocarbons. One such feature is Vid Flumina, the branching network of narrow lines in the upper-left quadrant of the image. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft pinged the surface of Titan with microwaves, finding that some channels are deep, steep-sided canyons filled with liquid hydrocarbons. One such feature is Vid Flumina, the branching network of narrow lines in the upper-left quadrant of the image.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has found deep, steep-sided canyons flooded with liquid hydrocarbons on Saturn’s moon, Titan, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages the Cassini mission for NASA, announced Wednesday.

The finding represents the first direct evidence of the presence of liquid-filled channels on Titan and the first observation of canyons hundreds of feet deep, JPL said in a statement. The channels are narrow canyons generally less than a mile wide and 790 to 1,870 feet deep.

The presence of such deep cuts in the landscape indicates that whatever process created them was active for a long time on Titan’s surface, the statement said.

—City News Service

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