Jingpo Lacus

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Jingpo Lacus
PIA17655 Jingo Lacus crop2.jpg
Jingpo Lacus in a false-color synthetic aperture radar image of Titan's north polar region. An extension of Kraken Mare enters the view at upper left.
Feature type Lacus
Coordinates 73°N 336°W / 73°N 336°W / 73; -336Coordinates: 73°N 336°W / 73°N 336°W / 73; -336
Diameter 240 km[note 1]
Eponym Jingpo Lake

Jingpo Lacus is a lake in the north polar region of Titan,[1] the planet Saturn's largest moon. It and similarly sized Ontario Lacus[2] are the largest known bodies of liquid on Titan after the three maria (Kraken Mare, Ligeia Mare and Punga Mare).[3] It is composed of liquid hydrocarbons (mainly methane and ethane). Located west of Kraken Mare at 73° N, 336° W, it is roughly 240 km (150 mi) long,[1][note 1] similar to the length of Lake Onega on Earth. Its namesake is Jingpo Lake,[1] a scenic lake in China.

On 8 July 2009, Cassini's Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) observed a specular reflection in 5 µm infrared light off Jingpo Lacus at 71° N, 337° W. (This has sometimes been described less accurately as at the southern shoreline of Kraken Mare.[4]) Specular reflections are indicative of a smooth, mirror-like surface, so the observation corroborated the inference of the presence of a large liquid body drawn from radar imaging. The observation was made soon after the north polar region emerged from 15 years of winter darkness.[5]

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  1. ^ a b The USGS web site gives the size as a "diameter", but it is actually the length in the longest dimension.

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