Titan's murky atmosphere shines as a halo of scattered light

Photojournal: PIA08268

September 21, 2006

Titan's murky atmosphere shines as a halo of scattered light.

Prior to the Cassini spacecraft's arrival, Titan remained incognito, swathed in its impenetrable envelope of frigid gases. Now, gradually but relentlessly, the veil continues to fall away under Cassini's gaze, bringing the wonders of this world into view.

North on Titan (5,150 kilometers, or 3,200 miles across) is up.

The image was taken using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 938 nanometers. The image was acquired with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Aug. 10, 2006 at a distance of approximately 3.1 million kilometers (1.9 million miles) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 165 degrees. Image scale is 18 kilometers (11 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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute