List of geological features on Titan

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This is a list of named geological features on Saturn's moon Titan. Official names for these features have only been announced very recently, as Titan's surface was virtually unknown before the arrival of the Cassini–Huygens probe.[1] Some features were known by informal nicknames beforehand; these names are noted where appropriate.

Albedo features[edit]

Albedo features on Titan are named after sacred or enchanted places in world mythologies and literature.

Bright albedo features[edit]

Albedo feature Coordinates Named after
Adiri 10°S 210°W / 10°S 210°W / -10; -210 (Adiri) Adiri, Melanesian paradise.
Dilmun 15°N 175°W / 15°N 175°W / 15; -175 (Dilmun) Dilmun, Sumerian heaven.
Quivira 0°N 15°W / 0°N 15°W / 0; -15 (Quivira) Quivira, legendary city in southwestern America
Tsegihi 40°S 10°W / 40°S 10°W / -40; -10 (Tsegihi) Tsegihi, Navajo sacred place.
Xanadu 15°S 100°W / 15°S 100°W / -15; -100 (Xanadu) Xanadu, an imaginary palace in Coleridge's Kubla Khan.

Dark albedo features[edit]

Albedo feature Coordinates Named after Informal name
Aaru 10°N 340°W / 10°N 340°W / 10; -340 (Aaru) Aaru, Egyptian paradise.
Aztlan 10°S 20°W / 10°S 20°W / -10; -20 (Aztlan) Aztlán, mythical Aztec homeland. Southern part of 'Lying H'
Belet 5°S 255°W / 5°S 255°W / -5; -255 (Belet) Belet, Malay paradise.
Ching-tu 30°S 205°W / 30°S 205°W / -30; -205 (Ching-tu) Ching-tu, Chinese Buddhist paradise.
Fensal 5°N 30°W / 5°N 30°W / 5; -30 (Fensal) Fensal, Norse heavenly mansion Northern part of 'Lying H'
Mezzoramia 70°S 0°W / 70°S -0°E / -70; -0 (Mezzoramia) Mezzoramia, Italian legend of oasis of happiness in Africa.
Senkyo 5°S 320°W / 5°S 320°W / -5; -320 (Senkyo) Senkyo, Japanese paradise.
Shangri-La 10°S 165°W / 10°S 165°W / -10; -165 (Shangri-La) Shangri-La, Tibetan paradise.

Arcūs[edit]

Titanean arcūs (arc-shaped features) are named after deities of happiness.

Albedo feature Coordinates Named after
Hotei Arcus 28°S 79°W / 28°S 79°W / -28; -79 (Hotei Arcus) Hotei, Japanese god

Craters[edit]

Craters on Titan are named after deities of wisdom.

Crater Coordinates Diameter (km) Named after Informal name
Afekan 25°48′N 200°18′W / 25.8°N 200.3°W / 25.8; -200.3 (Afekan) 115.0 Afekan, New Guinean creator goddess
Ksa 14°00′N 65°24′W / 14.0°N 65.4°W / 14.0; -65.4 (Ksa) 29.0 Ksa, Lakota and Oglala god
Menrva 20°06′N 87°12′W / 20.1°N 87.2°W / 20.1; -87.2 (Menrva) 392.0 Menrva, Etruscan goddess 'Circus Maximus'
Selk 7°00′N 199°00′W / 7.0°N 199.0°W / 7.0; -199.0 (Selk) 80.0 Selk, Egyptian goddess
Sinlap 11°18′N 16°00′W / 11.3°N 16.0°W / 11.3; -16.0 (Sinlap) 80.0 Sinlap, Kachin spirit

Faculae[edit]

Faculae (bright spots) are named after islands on Earth that are not politically independent. Groups of faculae are named after archipelagos on Earth.

Facula Coordinates Named after Informal name
Antilia Faculae 11°00′S 187°00′W / 11.0°S 187.0°W / -11.0; -187.0 (Antilia Faculae) Antillia, mythical Atlantic archipelago
Bazaruto Facula 11°36′N 16°06′W / 11.6°N 16.1°W / 11.6; -16.1 (Bazaruto Facula) Bazaruto, Mozambique island
Coats Facula 11°06′S 29°12′W / 11.1°S 29.2°W / -11.1; -29.2 (Coats Facula) Coats Island, Canada
Crete Facula 9°24′N 150°06′W / 9.4°N 150.1°W / 9.4; -150.1 (Crete Facula) Crete, Greek island
Elba Facula 10°48′S 1°12′W / 10.8°S 1.2°W / -10.8; -1.2 (Elba Facula) Elba, Italian island
Kerguelen Facula 5°24′S 151°00′W / 5.4°S 151.0°W / -5.4; -151.0 (Kerguelen Facula) Kerguelen Islands, French subantarctic island
Mindanao Facula 6°36′S 174°12′W / 6.6°S 174.2°W / -6.6; -174.2 (Mindanao Facula) Mindanao, Philippine island 'Ireland'
Nicobar Faculae 2°00′N 159°00′W / 2.0°N 159.0°W / 2.0; -159.0 (Nicobar Faculae) Nicobar Islands, Indian archipelago
Oahu Facula 5°00′N 166°42′W / 5.0°N 166.7°W / 5.0; -166.7 (Oahu Facula) Oahu, Hawaiian island
Santorini Facula 2°24′N 145°36′W / 2.4°N 145.6°W / 2.4; -145.6 (Santorini Facula) Santorini, Greek island
Shikoku Facula 10°24′S 164°06′W / 10.4°S 164.1°W / -10.4; -164.1 (Shikoku Facula) Shikoku, Japanese island 'Great Britain'
Sotra Facula 12°30′S 39°48′W / 12.5°S 39.8°W / -12.5; -39.8 (Sotra Facula) Sotra, Norwegian island 'The Rose'
Texel Facula 11°30′S 182°36′W / 11.5°S 182.6°W / -11.5; -182.6 (Texel Facula) Texel, Dutch island 'Manhattan'
Tortola Facula 8°48′N 143°06′W / 8.8°N 143.1°W / 8.8; -143.1 (Tortola Facula) Tortola, British Virgin Islands 'The Snail'
Vis Facula 7°00′N 138°24′W / 7.0°N 138.4°W / 7.0; -138.4 (Vis Facula) Vis, Croatian island

Fluctūs[edit]

The term "fluctus" refers to flow terrain. Fluctūs on Titan are named after mythological figures associated with beauty.

Fluctus Coordinates Named after
Ara Fluctus 39°48′N 118°24′W / 39.8°N 118.4°W / 39.8; -118.4 (Ara Fluctus) Ara the Beautiful, Armenian legendary figure
Leilah Fluctus 50°30′N 77°48′W / 50.5°N 77.8°W / 50.5; -77.8 (Leilah Fluctus) Layla, Persian goddess
Rohe Fluctus 47°18′N 37°45′W / 47.3°N 37.75°W / 47.3; -37.75 (Rohe Fluctus) Rohe, Māori goddess
Winia Fluctus 49°00′N 46°00′W / 49.0°N 46.0°W / 49.0; -46.0 (Winia Fluctus) Winia, Indonesian first woman

Flumina[edit]

A flumen is a feature that looks like a channel carved by liquid. There is one named group of flumina on Titan.

Flumina Coordinates Named after
Elivagar Flumina 19°18′N 78°30′W / 19.3°N 78.5°W / 19.3; -78.5 (Elivagar Flumina) The Élivágar, a group of ice rivers in Norse mythology

Insulae[edit]

Insulae are islands within Titan's 'seas'. They are named after legendary islands.

Insula Coordinates Named after
Mayda Insula 79°06′N 312°12′W / 79.1°N 312.2°W / 79.1; -312.2 (Mayda Insula) Mayda, legendary island in the northeast Atlantic

Labyrinthi[edit]

Labyrinthi[1] (complexes of intersecting valleys or ridges[2] ) are named after planets from the fictional Dune universe created by Frank Herbert.[3]

Labyrinthus Coordinates Named after
Sikun Labyrinthus 77°54′S 28°54′W / 77.9°S 28.9°W / -77.9; -28.9 (Sikun Labyrinthus) Sikun[3]

Lacūs[edit]

Lakes of liquid methane on Titan. View from Bolsena Lacus (lower right) to Mackay Lacus (upper left).
Main article: Lakes of Titan

Lacūs[1] (plural form of lacus used in Titan geological nomenclature) are hydrocarbon lakes.

Large ringed features[edit]

Large ring features are named after deities of wisdom in world mythology.

Ring feature Coordinates Named after
Guabonito 10°54′S 150°48′W / 10.9°S 150.8°W / -10.9; -150.8 (Guabonito) Guabonito, Taíno sea goddess
Nath 30°30′S 7°42′W / 30.5°S 7.7°W / -30.5; -7.7 (Nath) Irish goddess of wisdom
Paxsi 5°00′N 341°12′W / 5.0°N 341.2°W / 5.0; -341.2 (Paxsi) Aymara goddess of the moon and wisdom
Veles 2°00′N 137°18′W / 2.0°N 137.3°W / 2.0; -137.3 (Veles) Veles, Slavic god

Maculae[edit]

Titanean maculae (dark spots) are named after deities of happiness, peace, and harmony in world mythology.

Macula Coordinates Named after
Eir Macula 24°00′S 114°42′W / 24.0°S 114.7°W / -24.0; -114.7 (Eir Macula) Eir, Norse goddess.
Elpis Macula 31°12′N 27°00′W / 31.2°N 27.0°W / 31.2; -27.0 (Elpis Macula) Elpis, Greek god.
Ganesa Macula 50°00′N 87°18′W / 50.0°N 87.3°W / 50.0; -87.3 (Ganesa Macula) Ganesa, Hindu god.
Omacatl Macula 17°36′N 37°12′W / 17.6°N 37.2°W / 17.6; -37.2 (Omacatl Macula) Omacatl, Aztec god.
Polaznik Macula 41°06′S 280°24′W / 41.1°S 280.4°W / -41.1; -280.4 (Polaznik Macula) Polaznik, Slavic god
Polelya Macula 50°00′N 56°00′W / 50.0°N 56.0°W / 50.0; -56.0 (Polelya Macula) Polelya, Slavic god

Maria[edit]

Main article: Lakes of Titan

Maria (plural of mare) are hydrocarbon seas.

Montes[edit]

Mountains are named after mountains from the fictional Middle-Earth created by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Mons Coordinates Named after
Angmar Montes 10°00′S 221°00′W / 10.0°S 221.0°W / -10.0; -221.0 (Angmar Montes) Mountains of Angmar
Dolmed Montes 11°36′S 216°48′W / 11.6°S 216.8°W / -11.6; -216.8 (Dolmed Montes) Mount Dolmed
Doom Mons 14°39′S 40°25′W / 14.65°S 40.42°W / -14.65; -40.42 (Doom Mons) Mount Doom
Echoriat Montes 7°24′S 213°48′W / 7.4°S 213.8°W / -7.4; -213.8 (Echoriat Montes) Echoriath
Erebor Mons 4°58′S 36°14′W / 4.97°S 36.23°W / -4.97; -36.23 (Erebor Mons) Erebor, the Lonely Mountain
Gram Montes 9°54′S 207°54′W / 9.9°S 207.9°W / -9.9; -207.9 (Gram Montes) Mount Gram
Irensaga Montes 5°41′S 212°43′W / 5.68°S 212.71°W / -5.68; -212.71 (Irensaga Montes) Irensaga
Merlock Montes 8°54′S 211°48′W / 8.9°S 211.8°W / -8.9; -211.8 (Merlock Montes) Merlock Mountains
Mindolluin Montes 3°18′S 208°58′W / 3.3°S 208.96°W / -3.3; -208.96 (Mindolluin Montes) Mindolluin
Misty Montes 56°48′N 62°26′W / 56.8°N 62.44°W / 56.8; -62.44 (Misty Montes) Misty Mountains
Mithrim Montes 2°10′S 127°25′W / 2.16°S 127.42°W / -2.16; -127.42 (Mithrim Montes) Mountains of Mithrim
Rerir Montes 4°48′S 212°06′W / 4.8°S 212.1°W / -4.8; -212.1 (Rerir Montes) Mount Rerir
Taniquetil Montes 3°40′S 213°16′W / 3.67°S 213.26°W / -3.67; -213.26 (Taniquetil Montes) Taniquetil

Planitia[edit]

Planitia (low plains) are named after planets from the fictional Dune universe created by Frank Herbert.[4][5]

Planitia Coordinates Named after
Arrakis Planitia 78°24′S 117°00′W / 78.4°S 117.0°W / -78.4; -117.0 (Arrakis Planitia) Arrakis[6]
Chusuk Planitia 5°00′S 23°30′W / 5.0°S 23.5°W / -5.0; -23.5 (Chusuk Planitia) Chusuk[7]

Regiones[edit]

Regiones (regions distinctly different from their surroundings) are named after deities of peace and happiness.

Regio Coordinates Named after
Hotei Regio 26°00′S 78°00′W / 26.0°S 78.0°W / -26.0; -78.0 (Hotei Regio) Budai, Chinese/Japanese god
Tui Regio 24°30′S 124°54′W / 24.5°S 124.9°W / -24.5; -124.9 (Tui Regio) Tui, Chinese goddess.

Virgae[edit]

Virgae (streaks of colour) are named after rain gods in world mythologies.

Virga Coordinates Named after
Bacab Virgae 19°00′S 151°00′W / 19.0°S 151.0°W / -19.0; -151.0 (Bacab Virgae) Bacab, Mayan rain god
Hobal Virga 35°00′S 166°00′W / 35.0°S 166.0°W / -35.0; -166.0 (Hobal Virga) Hobal, Arabian rain god.
Kalseru Virga 36°00′S 137°00′W / 36.0°S 137.0°W / -36.0; -137.0 (Kalseru Virga) Kalseru, Australian Aborigine rain god.
Perkunas Virgae 27°00′S 162°00′W / 27.0°S 162.0°W / -27.0; -162.0 (Perkunas Virgae) Perkūnas, Lithuanian supreme god
Shiwanni Virgae 25°00′S 32°00′W / 25.0°S 32.0°W / -25.0; -32.0 (Shiwanni Virgae) Shiwanni, Zuni rain god
Uanui Virgae 45°12′N 235°18′W / 45.2°N 235.3°W / 45.2; -235.3 (Uanui Virgae) Uanui, Māori rain god

Informal names for unnamed features[edit]

Because the exact nature of many surface features remain mysterious, a number of features have not yet received formal names and are known by nicknames. In most cases, indications of brightness and darkness refer not to visible light, but to the infrared images used to look through Titan's obscuring haze. Cassini has also begun to map portions of Titan using radar.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature: Titan Features". Planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov. Retrieved September 8, 2010. 
  2. ^ Greeley, Ronald (2013). Introduction to Planetary Geomorphology. Cambridge University Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-521-86711-5. 
  3. ^ a b "Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature: Sikun Labyrinthus". Planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov. January 6, 2010. Retrieved September 8, 2010. 
  4. ^ Blue, Jennifer (August 4, 2009). "USGS Astrogeology Hot Topics: New Name, Descriptor Term, and Theme Approved for Use on Titan". Astrogeology.usgs.gov. Retrieved September 8, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature: Titan Planitia". Planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov. Retrieved September 8, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature: Arrakis Planitia". Planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov. April 5, 2010. Retrieved September 8, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature: Chusuk Planitia". Planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov. August 4, 2009. Retrieved September 8, 2010. 

External links[edit]