Titan¿s featureless atmosphere as seen in visible light glares back at the viewer, challenging Cassini and its piggybacked Huygens probe to expose the moon's many secrets. The Huygens probe, built by the European Space Agency, along with Cassini's powerful cameras, will soon penetrate the thick atmospheric haze which enshrouds this moon, which is about the size of Mercury.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on May 23, 2004, from a distance of 21.6 million kilometers (13.4 million miles) from Titan. The image scale is 129 kilometers (80 miles) per pixel. The image was magnified to aid visibility.
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 Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit, http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and the Cassini imaging team home page, http://ciclops.org .
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute