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Cassini/VIMS observes rough surfaces on Titan’s Punga Mare in specular reflection

Abstract : Cassini/VIMS high-phase specular observations of Titan's north pole during the T85 flyby show evidence for isolated patches of rough liquid surface within the boundaries of the sea Punga Mare. The roughness shows typical slopes of 6°± 1°. These rough areas could be either wet mudflats or a wavy sea. Because of their large areal extent, patchy geographic distribution, and uniform appearance at low phase, we prefer a waves interpretation. Applying theoretical wave calculations based on Titan conditions our slope determination allows us to infer winds of 0.76 ± 0.09 m/s and significant wave heights of 2 +2 −1 cm at the time and locations of the observation. If correct, these would represent the first waves seen on Titan's seas, and also the first extraterrestrial sea-surface waves in general.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 3, 2022 - 1:17:34 PM
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Jason Barnes, Christophe Sotin, Jason Soderblom, Robert Brown, Alexander Hayes, et al.. Cassini/VIMS observes rough surfaces on Titan’s Punga Mare in specular reflection. Planetary Science, Springer, 2014, 3 (1), pp.3. ⟨10.1186/s13535-014-0003-4⟩. ⟨hal-03657827⟩



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