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Monday, August 10, 2009

Titan: Little Earth with Really Bad Climate

Earth's little brother Titan among moons | Top stories |

Artist's rendition

IT BEARS a striking resemblance to our own Earth - right down to the smog-ridden atmosphere.

Using radar to pierce the thick atmosphere, scientists have mapped a third of the surface of Saturn's planet-sized moon, Titan.

And despite the alien environment, they have revealed an uncanny likeness to Earth, with mountain ranges, dunes, numerous lakes and suspected volcanoes.

And just as on Earth, the weather on Titan appears to have erased most evidence of meteorite craters.

"It really is surprising how closely Titan's surface resembles Earth's," said planetary geologist Rosaly Lopes, from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in California.

"In fact, Titan looks more like the Earth than any other body in the Solar System, despite the huge differences in temperature and other environmental conditions."

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