Journey to Magic Island

Hello and welcome, Earthlings!

This week's voyage takes us to Magic Island, a mysterious land that disappears and reappears on Titan's surface. Remember that Titan is Saturn's largest moon and is as close to a colder form of Earth as we get than anywhere else in the Solar System. So please keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times and let's get going!

Our journey takes us to Ligeia Mare, a vast lake filled with hydrocarbons (such as methane and ethane) and about half the size as Lake Superior in North America, Earth. This is also Titan's second largest lake region!

Magic Island is a small inlet of frozen land that would disappear and reappear, growing and shrinking with every photograph taken by Cassini-Huygens. And it's not just a small piece of land. This piece of 500-kilometer island actually sinks and floats due to ebbing of the lake. 

How this happens is still a mystery...Some research is being done about the possibility of certain frozen layers overtake the land boundaries. Not sure yet on if this is due to seasonal effects or something with Titan's methane rain cycle. 

Cassini images of Magic Island. Credit: NASA Cassini

Cassini images of Magic Island. Credit: NASA Cassini

Thank you for visiting Magic Island and come back next week for a look at storms on Saturn!

Caitlin Ahrens