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.