The Cassini science team has released humanity's first picture of what sunlight glinting off a lake looks like on another world. This is Titan, Saturn's largest moon, which has lakes of liquid hydrocarbons on its surface.
NASA says its scientists have been looking for the glint of light off Titan since the well-endowed Cassini spacecraft began circling Saturn in July 2004. Titan's northern polar region, where most of the lakes are located, has been blanketed in winter darkness. As sunlight returned to the north about six months ago, the team caught what it called a moment of serendipity.
"This one image communicates so much about Titan," Cassini project scientist Bob Pappalardo said in a statement after the image was released on Friday.
He termed the picture "iconic" and said it shows an "unsettling combination of strangeness yet similarity to Earth."
I just call it lovely.
Here's the NASA story for more technical details about how the image was made.