Dec 2, 2022

In Photos: Webb Telescope’s First Look At Titan, Saturn’s Giant Moon That May Once Have Have Hosted Life

Posted by in category: space

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and the Keck Observatory in Hawaii have together captured Saturn’s largest moon Titan in near-infrared.

The new images reveal clouds in the northern hemisphere near Kraken Mare, the largest known methane sea on the giant moon’s surface. Titan is the only other body in the solar system that has rivers, lakes and seas, though instead of water they flow with liquid methane and ethane. These hydrocarbons—as well as water and ammonia—also produce clouds and rain on the giant moon.

JWST’s image—from November 4, 2022 and published for the first time this week—revealed two clouds in the atmosphere, so scientists then pointed the largest optical telescope on Earth, the Keck Telescope, at Titan just 30 hours later to confirm their presence.

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