July 1, 2009
The Cassini spacecraft looks down on Titan's north pole and unveils the moon's upper-most atmospheric hazes, creating the appearance of a halo around Saturn's largest moon.
For a color view of the atmosphere's upper layers from another viewing geometry, see Hazy Ring of Titan's Sky.
Terrain seen here is on the trailing hemisphere of Titan (5,150 kilometers, or 3,200 miles across), which is facing Saturn. This view is centered on 54 degrees north latitude, 251 degrees west longitude. Titan's north pole lies on the terminator about one-third of the way inward from the top of the image.
The image was taken in violet light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on May 21, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 147,000 kilometers (91,000 miles) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 121 degrees. Image scale is 9 kilometers (6 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