37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 46 Titan's Surface and Magnetic Environment
Poster, Wednesday, September 7, 2005, 6:00-7:15pm, Music Recital Room

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[46.03] The Brightest Spot on Titan

J. W. Barnes (LPL), B. J. Buratti (JPL), C. Sotin (UMR / CNRS), E. P. Turtle, A. W. McEwen, R. D. Lorenz (LPL), E. L. Schaller, M. E. Brown (Caltech), R. Clark (USGS), C. Griffith, J. Perry, S. Fussner (LPL), J. Barbara (NASA/Goddard), R. West, C. Elachi (JPL), B. Antonin (Keck), H.G. Roe (Caltech), K. H. Baines (JPL), G. Bellucci, J.-P. Bibring, F. Capaccioni, P. Cerroni, A. Coradini (CNR), D. P. Cruikshank (NASA/AMES), P. Drossart (Obs. de Paris), V. Formisano (CNR), R. Jaumann (DLR), Yves Langevin (U. de Paris-Sud), D. L. Matson (JPL), T. B. McCord (U. of Washington), P. D. Nicholson (Cornell), B. Sicardy (Obs. de Paris)

The location on Titan that is brightest when viewed in reflected light is near 80\circW ~ 25\circS. During Cassini's T4 pass over this area on 2005 March 31, the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) instrument discovered that this area is also particularly bright when compared to Xanadu at 5 \mu m. We combined data obtained from Cassini's VIMS, ISS, and RADAR instruments along with ground-based Keck AO data to ascertain the nature of the spot. We are able to rule out anomalous photometric behavior, clouds, high temperature, and high elevation as likely explanations for the area's high reflectivity. RADAR radiometry of the area implies an icy composition, while VIMS detection of high 5-\mu m flux implies less ice. We conclude that the area is probably icy but covered by a veneer of highly reflective material, either as a surface layer or low-level ground fog, either of which may be associated with volcanic activity.

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