Saturn over Titan
December 17, 2004
This artist's conception shows Titan's surface with Saturn appearing dimly in the background through Titan's thick atmosphere of mostly nitrogen and methane. The Cassini spacecraft flies overhead with its high-gain antenna pointed at the Huygens probe as it nears the surface.
Titan's surface may hold lakes of liquid ethane and methane, sprinkled over a thin veneer of frozen methane and ammonia. Most of the brownish-orange color comes from more heavily processed hydrocarbons present in Titan's atmosphere and on its surface. Artistic license has been used to exaggerate the size of the orbiter, the sharpness of the icy features, the tilt of Saturn's rings, and the visibility of the planet through Titan's atmosphere.
For a high resolution image, click here.