A photo from Cassini shows sunlight reflecting from a giant lake of methane on the northern half of Saturn’s moon Titan.
NASA scientists revealed Friday a first-of-its-kind image from space showing reflecting sunlight from a lake on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.
It’s the first visual “smoking gun” evidence of liquid on the northern hemisphere of the moon, scientists said, and the first-ever photo from another world showing a “specular reflection” — which is reflection of light from an extremely smooth surface and in this case, a liquid one.
“This is the first time outside Earth we’ve seen specular reflection from another liquid from another body,” said Ralf Jaumann, a scientist analyzing data from the Cassini unmanned space probe.
Jaumann said he was surprised when he first saw the photos transmitting from Cassini, orbiting Saturn about a billion miles from Earth.
“It was great because if you look at photos of planets, you mostly see nothing is happening. But in two hours we saw a glint of light getting brighter.”