December 31, 2008
Titan's globally distributed detached haze layer and the moon's north polar hood, both notable details of its thick atmosphere, are clearly seen in this image from the Cassini spacecraft.
Titan is 5,150 kilometers (3,200 miles) across, slightly larger than Mercury.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera using a combination of spectral filters sensitive to wavelengths of polarized ultraviolet light centered at 338 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.742 million kilometers (1.083 million miles) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 50 degrees. Image scale is 10 kilometers (6 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.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute