Mile-High Mountains Found on Saturn's Moon Titan

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"It's an interesting find, but finding the highest so far may not mean a lot given that we haven't observed that much of Titan yet," Ralph Lorenz of Johns Hopkins University's Planetary Exploration Group said by email.

More interesting, Lorenz says, is the fact that the mountains are aligned north-south on a part of Titan that is always directly facing Saturn.

That means that tidal forces from Saturn may have contributed to creating the cracks along which the range formed, he said.

The mountains are another remarkably Earthlike discovery on a world that has already yielded lakes, streambeds, sand dunes, and a continent-size land mass christened Xanadu.

(Read "Earthlike 'Continent' Found on Saturn Moon" [July 21, 2006].)

"You can think of Titan as like the Earth in deep freeze," said Rosaly Lopes of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

"It's more Earthlike than anywhere else in the solar system, but the surface is very cold."

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