Dark Side Ring of Light
December 23, 2009
The Cassini spacecraft looks toward the dark side of Saturn's largest moon as a circle of light is produced by sunlight scattering through the periphery of Titan's atmosphere.
A detached, high-altitude global haze layer encircles the moon. See Titan's Halo to learn more. North on Titan (5,150 kilometers, or 3,200 miles across) is up and rotated 2 degrees to the left.
The image was taken in visible blue light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 9, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.4 million kilometers (870,000 miles) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 157 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