The Smog-bound Moon
October 12, 2007
A hazy orb hangs in space, swathed in its dense cocoon of frigid atmosphere. Titan's global, detached, high-altitude haze layer is visible here. Also visible is Titan's enigmatic polar hood, which hangs over the polar regions of the moon's northern hemisphere. Scientists will track changes in this feature as winter in Titan's northern hemisphere advances to spring.
Titan is 5,150 kilometers (3,200 miles) across.
The image was taken in visible blue light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 9, 2007. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 4.5 million kilometers (2.8 million miles) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 28 degrees. Image scale is 27 kilometers (17 miles) per pixel.
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 mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute