Piercing the ubiquitous layer of smog enshrouding Titan, these images from the Cassini visual and infrared mapping spectrometer reveals an exotic surface covered with a variety of materials in the southern hemisphere. Visible is a circular feature that may be a crater in the north.
Using near-infrared colors--some three times deeper in the red visible to the human eye--these images reveal the surface with unusual clarity. The color image shows a false-color combination of three previous images. The yellow areas correspond to the hydrocarbon-rich regions, while the green areas are the icier regions. Here, the methane cloud appears white, as it is bright in all three colors.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The visible and infrared mapping spectrometer team is based at the University of Arizona, Tucson.
For more information, about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit, http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. For more information about the visual and infrared mapping spectrometer visit http://wwwvims.lpl.arizona.edu/.
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona