Enter the Labyrinth if you dare

Titan Labyrinth terrain as seen by Cassini. Image credit: NASA

Titan Labyrinth terrain as seen by Cassini. Image credit: NASA

Good morning and welcome back!

Such as the mythological tales of heroes being sentenced to conquer the winding halls of a labyrinth, Titan also has these mysterious, winding paths on its surface. The mystery- we don't know how they are formed!

Labyrinth terrain was found by Cassini images in the summer 2016. These large, over 50km in size regions have a very weird terrain surrounded by channels and plains. There are a few comparable places on Earth, such as a cross-hatch terrain found on an island in Indonesia. However, the chaotic nature and formation is still being analyzed. 

Recently, a classification system has been made to characterize the shapes of the labyrinthian hallways. It is possible that methane, since methane acts like water, could cross-cut or erode the surrounding ice. Why it forms this type of terrain and only found in certain areas on Titan- that is still to be discovered. 

Malaska, et al. will be presenting this terrain at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. You can read his abstract here:


Thank you for reading! I'll be attending the 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference! I'll be posting some exciting stuff that happened next time! 

Caitlin Ahrens