37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 10 Cassini II
Invited, Monday, September 5, 2005, 4:20-5:35pm, Music Concert Hall

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[10.01] An Overview of Cassini Radar Mapper Observations of Titan

S. Wall, C. Elachi (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology), Cassini Radar Science Team

The CassiniRadar Mapper imaged the surface of TItan in Ku-band (wavelength = 2.17 cm) on February 14, 2005, more than doubling the coverage obtained in October 2004. The new (T3) flyby collected a 420-km long synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) swath, varying in width from 200 to 500km, and larger-scale radiometry and scatterometry. Data from both passes show that fluvial, impact and volcanic processes are clearly all at work. Evidence will be presented and discussed for each, including a large (440km) impact basin, a smaller (80km) crater with an ejecta blanket, a volcanic construct with flows, and a set of SAR-bright braided and sinuous drainage channels. Recurring patches of subparallel SAR-dark linear features, dubbed ``cat scratches", are tentatively identified as aeolian. A greater diversity of landforms was observed on the T3 flyby than on the previous (Ta) pass. Based on the small number of impact craters detected, the surface thus far imaged by radar is very young compared with those of other Saturnian satellites.

The Cassini Project is a joint endeavor of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI). Cassini is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.