PerspectivePlanetary Science

The Weather on Titan

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Science  20 Oct 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5491, pp. 467-468
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5491.467

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When the Voyager 1 spacecraft returned images in 1980, the dense atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan was assumed to be bland and featureless. As Lorenz discusses in his Perspective, recent ground-based spectroscopy, and images from the Hubble Space Telescope, are changing this perception. Observations such as the short-lived clouds in Titan's atmosphere reported by Griffith et al. suggest that although average precipitation is likely to be low, individual precipitation events may be heavy enough to cause deep valleys on Titan's surface.