Space Science Reviews

, 215:33 | Cite as

Titan as Revealed by the Cassini Radar

  • R. M. C. Lopes
  • S. D. Wall
  • C. Elachi
  • S. P. D. Birch
  • P. Corlies
  • A. Coustenis
  • A. G. Hayes
  • J. D. Hofgartner
  • M. A. Janssen
  • R. L. Kirk
  • A. LeGall
  • R. D. Lorenz
  • J. I. Lunine
  • M. J. Malaska
  • M. Mastroguiseppe
  • G. Mitri
  • C. D. Neish
  • C. Notarnicola
  • F. Paganelli
  • P. Paillou
  • V. Poggiali
  • J. Radebaugh
  • S. Rodriguez
  • A. Schoenfeld
  • J. M. Soderblom
  • A. Solomonidou
  • E. R. Stofan
  • B. W. Stiles
  • F. Tosi
  • E. P. Turtle
  • R. D. West
  • C. A. Wood
  • H. A. Zebker
  • J. W. Barnes
  • D. Casarano
  • P. Encrenaz
  • T. Farr
  • C. Grima
  • D. Hemingway
  • O. Karatekin
  • A. Lucas
  • K. L. Mitchell
  • G. Ori
  • R. Orosei
  • P. Ries
  • D. Riccio
  • L. A. Soderblom
  • Z. Zhang


Titan was a mostly unknown world prior to the Cassini spacecraft’s arrival in July 2004. We review the major scientific advances made by Cassini’s Titan Radar Mapper (RADAR) during 13 years of Cassini’s exploration of Saturn and its moons. RADAR measurements revealed Titan’s surface geology, observed lakes and seas of mostly liquid methane in the polar regions, measured the depth of several lakes and seas, detected temporal changes on its surface, and provided key evidence that Titan contains an interior ocean. As a result of the Cassini mission, Titan has gone from an uncharted world to one that exhibits a variety of Earth-like geologic processes and surface-atmosphere interactions. Titan has also joined the ranks of “ocean worlds” along with Enceladus and Europa, which are prime targets for astrobiological research.


Titan Cassini Radar 



We thank Robert M. Nelson and an anonymous reviewer for excellent and detailed reviews that greatly improved the manuscript, and Phil Callahan for an informal review and helpful suggestions for improvement. Part of this work was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of technology, under contract with NASA. Copyright 2018, California Institute of Technology. Government sponsorship is acknowledged.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. C. Lopes
    • 1
  • S. D. Wall
    • 1
  • C. Elachi
    • 2
  • S. P. D. Birch
    • 3
  • P. Corlies
    • 3
  • A. Coustenis
    • 4
  • A. G. Hayes
    • 3
  • J. D. Hofgartner
    • 1
  • M. A. Janssen
    • 1
  • R. L. Kirk
    • 5
  • A. LeGall
    • 6
  • R. D. Lorenz
    • 7
  • J. I. Lunine
    • 2
    • 3
  • M. J. Malaska
    • 1
  • M. Mastroguiseppe
    • 8
  • G. Mitri
    • 9
  • C. D. Neish
    • 10
  • C. Notarnicola
    • 11
  • F. Paganelli
    • 12
  • P. Paillou
    • 13
  • V. Poggiali
    • 3
  • J. Radebaugh
    • 14
  • S. Rodriguez
    • 15
  • A. Schoenfeld
    • 16
  • J. M. Soderblom
    • 17
  • A. Solomonidou
    • 18
  • E. R. Stofan
    • 19
  • B. W. Stiles
    • 1
  • F. Tosi
    • 20
  • E. P. Turtle
    • 7
  • R. D. West
    • 1
  • C. A. Wood
    • 21
  • H. A. Zebker
    • 22
  • J. W. Barnes
    • 23
  • D. Casarano
    • 24
  • P. Encrenaz
    • 4
  • T. Farr
    • 1
  • C. Grima
    • 25
  • D. Hemingway
    • 26
  • O. Karatekin
    • 27
  • A. Lucas
    • 28
  • K. L. Mitchell
    • 1
  • G. Ori
    • 9
  • R. Orosei
    • 29
  • P. Ries
    • 1
  • D. Riccio
    • 30
  • L. A. Soderblom
    • 5
  • Z. Zhang
    • 2
  1. 1.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Geological and Planetary SciencesCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  3. 3.Department of AstronomyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  4. 4.LESIA – Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, UPMC Univ. Paris 06Univ. Paris-DiderotMeudonFrance
  5. 5.Astrogeology Science CenterU.S. Geological SurveyFlagstaffUSA
  6. 6.Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales (LATMOS)Universite Versaills Saint QuentinGuyancourtFrance
  7. 7.JHU Applied Physics LabLaurelUSA
  8. 8.University of Rome “La Sapienza”RomeItaly
  9. 9.International Research School of Planetary SciencesUniversità d’AnnunzioPescaraItaly
  10. 10.Department of Earth Sciencesthe University of Western OntarioN. LondonCanada
  11. 11.Eurac ResearchInstitute for Earth ObservationBolzanoItaly
  12. 12.SETI InstituteMountain ViewUSA
  13. 13.UMR 5804 LAB, Batiment B18NUniversity of BordeauxPessac CedexFrance
  14. 14.Department of Geological SciencesBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  15. 15.Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP), CNRS-UMR 7154Université Paris-Diderot, USPCParisFrance
  16. 16.UCLA Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space SciencesLos AngelesUSA
  17. 17.Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary SciencesMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyBostonUSA
  18. 18.European Space Agency (ESA)ESACMadridSpain
  19. 19.Smithsonian National Air and Space MuseumWashington DCUSA
  20. 20.INAF – IAPS National Institute for AstrophysicsRomeItaly
  21. 21.Planetary Science InstituteTucsonUSA
  22. 22.Department of Electrical EngineeringStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  23. 23.Department of PhysicsUniversity of IdahoMoscowUSA
  24. 24.CNR IRPIBariItaly
  25. 25.Institute of GeophysicsUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  26. 26.Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science, Department of Earth & Planetary ScienceUniversity of California BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  27. 27.Royal Observatory of BelgiumBrusselsBelgium
  28. 28.Institut de Physique du Globe de ParisCNRSParisFrance
  29. 29.Istituto di RadioastronomiaIstituto Nazionale di AstrofisicaBolognaItaly
  30. 30.Dept. Electrical Engineering ad Information TechnologyUniversity of Napoli Federico IINapoliItaly

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