Polar Clouds on Titan
July 28, 2008
Frigid Titan continues to prove itself a remarkably complex and dynamic world. Here, bright clouds are seen encircling the moon's north polar region.
The Cassini spacecraft has revealed the presence of great lakes and seas of liquid hydrocarbons on this part of Titan's surface (see Exploring the Wetlands of Titan and Seeing Farther North). An extended, high-altitude haze hovers above the limb of Titan (5,150 kilometers, or 3,200 miles across) at top of the image.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 26, 2008 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 938 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 786,000 kilometers (488,000 miles) from Titan. Image scale is 5 kilometers (3 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