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Mid-latitude lakes, and maybe, specular reflection of the sky
ngunn
post Feb 5 2012, 09:55 PM
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Getting through the LPSC poster sessions now and this one I could not let pass without posting:
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2012/pdf/2766.pdf

Lakes in the mid-latitudes are news enough, but what makes this of peculiar personal interest to me is one of the methods by which they hope to confirm the discovery. I quote from the abstract:

"A final test to confirm lakes is to observe a
specular reflection. The specular reflections can be seen
by producing a cylindrical projection of the brightness of
Titanís sky as viewed from a point on the surface. We
are looking for specular reflections from illumination of
the lake by the sky and not by illumination from the Sun
(Figure 2). This final test is a work in progress."


Some readers may remember me banging on at length about looking for lakes, and other wet surfaces, in this way. (At one point I posted pictures of our college pond on a cloudy day taken through polarisers.) Unfortunately VIMS lacks polarising filters but clearly that's not going to stop them using more indirect means to obtain the same information. I am very heartened to read of this work in progress and I wish them every success.
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jasedm
post Feb 5 2012, 10:53 PM
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The ingenuity of the investigators on these missions is incredibly inspiring. How to screw every last bit of information out of the platforms and their instruments...

Sterling stuff, and I too wish them the result they're looking for by using this method.

Jase
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Explorer1
post Feb 6 2012, 05:03 AM
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Well we already know specular reflections can be seen (the 'diamond ring' pic from 2009 springs to mind); how is this different apart from location?
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ngunn
post Feb 6 2012, 08:42 AM
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Catching a sunglint requires just the right geometry whereas sky reflection can potentially be used to look for lakes anywhere.
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titanicrivers
post Feb 6 2012, 05:08 PM
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A most interesting finding! VP had discussed this structure as a possible lake and had hopes for the WAC on Rev 125 revealing it close up but those images seemed unsatisfactory at least in the raw image state. We had discussed a possible channel entering from the west in our topic here. http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.p...=6418&st=15
VIMS Jason had discussed the possibility of a revealing VIMS image in this topic (post # 14) as well. How correct he was!
The VIMS image from the abstract Nigel has posted above superimposed on the ISS basemap (tiff file enhanced) appears below.
Attached Image
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