MAR 27, 2016 10:19 AM PDT

NASA's Cassini Mission Unveils Tallest Peak on Moon Titan

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

NASA’s Cassini mission is proving to be quite useful in learning more about the Saturnian system. Cassini has just allowed astronomers to identify the height of the tallest peak on Titan, the largest of all of Saturn’s moons.
 
Estimated to tower up as high as 10,948 feet, Titan’s tallest peak is located inside of the moon’s Mithrim Montes, a trio group of mountainous ridges. Astronomers believe this is the highest peak that they’re likely to spot before the Cassini mission ends in September 2017.
 

NASA says a peak in the Mithrim Montes on Titan is the tallest on the entire moon.


Discovered by way of Cassini’s radar equipment, the tall peak was found during a recent study of the moon and was presented at the 47th annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas.
 
Comparatively, the tallest peak on Earth is Mount Everest, which is 29,028 feet in the air.
 
Astronomers are also realizing that Titan’s tallest elevations are found mostly around the moon’s equator, which is an interesting quality.
 
"As explorers, we're motivated to find the highest or deepest places, partly because it's exciting. But Titan's extremes also tell us important things about forces affecting its evolution," said Jani Radebaugh, a Cassini radar team member who led the study.
 
On Earth, creating such tall elevations typically takes the work of tectonic activity. Tectonic plates must slam into each other, and the forces cause the Earth to grow upwards against gravity.
 
On Titan, the harder surface is believed to float atop a surface-wide ocean similar to that of Enceladus, so tectonic activity would work somewhat similarly. On the other hand, Titan has a softer surface composition than the Earth does, which is why scientists don’t really believe Titan will ever have peaks as tall as those on Earth.
 
NASA notes that researchers will now spend time trying to figure out what causes this kind of tectonic activity on Titan since the makeup of the spatial body is significantly different from that of Earth.

Source: NASA

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
OCT 03, 2020
Space & Astronomy
NASA Launches $23m Toilet to Space Station
OCT 03, 2020
NASA Launches $23m Toilet to Space Station
On late October 2nd, NASA launched a spacecraft carrying 4 tonnes of cargo, including scientific equipment, food hardwar ...
OCT 07, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Discovery of Phosphine on Venus - What Does It Mean?
OCT 07, 2020
Discovery of Phosphine on Venus - What Does It Mean?
A Nature Astronomy paper in September, titled "Phosphine gas in the cloud decks of Venus", has led t ...
NOV 17, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Researchers Find Human Brain Shares Structure with Universe
NOV 17, 2020
Researchers Find Human Brain Shares Structure with Universe
Astrophysicist Franco Vazza from the University of Bologna, and Alberto Felett, a neurosurgeon at the University of Vero ...
NOV 22, 2020
Space & Astronomy
The Mystery of the Blue Ring Nebula is Solved
NOV 22, 2020
The Mystery of the Blue Ring Nebula is Solved
In 2004, the Blue Ring Nebula was first identified. It appeared as a faint gas blob with a star at its center and was un ...
DEC 19, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Advanced Chemistry Module to Aid Future Mars Exploration
DEC 19, 2020
Advanced Chemistry Module to Aid Future Mars Exploration
Despite its resemblance to Earth, Mars, our planetary neighbor, is not exactly a friendly environment for human explorer ...
JAN 17, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Discover Planet with 3 Suns
JAN 17, 2021
Astronomers Discover Planet with 3 Suns
Having just one star in our solar system makes us an outlier in our galaxy. However, while most solar systems in the Mil ...
Loading Comments...