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October 2 2012

Titan Shows Surprising Seasonal Changes


Detailed observations of Saturn's moon Titan have now spanned 30 years, covering an entire solar orbit for this distant world. Dr. Athena Coustenis from the Paris-Meudon Observatory in France has analyzed data gathered over this time and has found that the changing seasons of Titan affect it more than previously thought.

Coustenis explains, "As with Earth, conditions on Titan change with its seasons. We can see differences in atmospheric temperatures, chemical composition and circulation patterns, especially at the poles. For example, hydrocarbon lakes form around the north polar region during winter due to colder temperatures and condensation.

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