In 2006, Jonathan Mitchell and his team published a model for Titan’s methane clouds in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. His model predicted that tropical rainfall could occur after equinox, when the intertropical convergence zone passes over the equatorial region. The recent report in Science, by Elizabeth Turtle and her team, corroborates Mitchell’s model with observational evidence.
The Cassini’s Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) detected low-latitude clouds that persisted for several weeks in the equatorial region of Titan on April 2008 and September 27, 2010. In October 2010, Cassini’s ISS observed a darkening of greater than 10 percent in areas spanning roughly 510,000 square kilometers. The majority of the darkened areas lasted only until October 29, 2010, after which they reverted back to their original brightness.
Glad to see science doing its prediction thing accurately on the climate of another planet. Really sad to see that so many people think it’s impossible to do here.