Titan, Saturn’s largest moon has itself a very Earthlike geography. Sure, it’s poisonous as all fuck, but it’s got methane lakes, sand dunes, and a thick atmosphere. As well, Astronomical Wizards believe the son of a bitch has seasonal rainstorms and flooding to boot.
What you’re seeing in this picture is most likely the aftermath of an enormous rainstorm and flood around Titan’s equator. The dark areas are regions that have been flooded after the white clouds dumped their methane rain. Right now it’s spring on Titan, and physicist Elizabeth Turtle and her colleagues postulate that we may be seeing an exolunar version of “April showers.”
We’ve known for a while that Titan’s poles are dotted with methane lakes, and that its equatorial regions are arid regions full of sand dunes. The Cassini spacecraft observed what appeared to be dried-out riverbeds in these desert regions, but scientists weren’t sure if they were evidence of a previous, wetter climate on the planet or occasional flooding. Now it seems that the planet may have seasonal floods that darken the sands.
Exolunar “April Showers” is the most geekiest and arousing academic term I’ve heard in a couple of weeks. Hotness.