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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Kraken Mare

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Saturday, October 26, 2013/Categories: natural history, photography, space science

In Greek legends, the monster Kraken arose from the deep to devour unsuspecting fishermen and sailors. In the ancient tales, no one ever survived.

Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has just released radar photography from Saturn's moon Titan that shows an area of large lakes including the aptly named, Kraken Mare. No one would survive sailing on this sea either. Titan's 'great lake' consists of liquid methane with adjacent smaller bodies of liquid ethane.

Titan's Great Lakes  (credit: Cassini/JPL)

According to JPL, Kraken Mare, Titan's largest sea, "covers about the same area as Earth's Caspian Sea and Lake Superior combined, The large moon is the only other place in the solar system that is known to have stable liquid on its surface." The hydrocarbon lakes are located near the moon's north pole.

Homer advised wandering sailors to avoid attempts to challenge the Kraken at their peril. Kraken Mare is likely a very dangerous sea as well. JPL's Cassini is telling us the Titan adventure story by using its robotic cameras from a safe distance in orbit.



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