Titan's South Polar Clouds

Photojournal: PIA06110

December 17, 2004

View full image: Full-Res: PIA06110

This sequence of images illustrates the evolution of a field of clouds near Titan's south pole over a period of almost five hours. The images were acquired on July 2, 2004, by NASA's Cassini spacecraft at ranges of 364,000 to 339,000 kilometers (226,170 to 210,600 miles). These bright clouds, believed to be composed of methane, appear in generally the same area where Earth-based astronomers have previously detected clouds. Cassini also saw clouds in this region during its approach to Saturn.

The pixel scale of these images ranges from 2.2 to 2.0 kilometers per pixel (1.4 to 1.2 miles per pixel). The smallest features that can be discerned in the clouds are roughly 10 kilometers ( 6 miles) across.

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