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NASA featured the work of Jani Radebaugh this week, who discovered a 10,948 foot peak on Saturn’s largest moon.
“As explorers, we’re motivated to find the highest or deepest places, partly because it’s exciting. But Titan’s extremes also tell us important things about forces affecting its evolution,” said Radebaugh, a geology professor at BYU.
The study used images and other data from the Cassini spacecraft, which has a radar instrument that can peer through the obscuring smog of Titan’s atmosphere. That smog meant Titan has only recently been recognized for being so much like earth. Radebaugh is part of a research team that used Cassini to discover oceans, rain, wind, dunes, lava flows and mountains on Titan.
“We had to wait until we got all the way to Titan to see these landforms that are so similar to Earth,” she said.
Learn more about the discovery:
- NASA: Cassini Spies Titan’s Tallest Peaks
- CNN: Giant Peak Discovered on Alien Moon
- Mashable: Spacecraft Spots the Tallest Mountain Seen on Saturn’s Moon Titan
And for a look at how her work with NASA enhances learning opportunities for BYU students, watch this fascinating campus forum address she gave last July titled “We Explore so We May Discover.”