August 12, 2014
As NASA's Cassini spacecraft sped away from Titan following a relatively close flyby, its cameras monitored the moon's northern polar region, capturing signs of renewed cloud activity.
Cassini scientists noted a decrease in clouds everywhere on Titan after a large storm in 2010, and expected clouds to return sooner, based on computer models of Titan's atmosphere. Continued monitoring should help them determine if the clouds' appearance signals the beginning of summer weather patterns, or if it is an isolated occurrence.
A streak of methane clouds is seen here, near center, over the large methane sea known as Ligeia Mare. A movie sequence, Clouds Over Ligeia Mare on Titan, shows these clouds in motion over a two-day period.
An image taken on July 21, 2014 using the Cassini spacecraft's narrow-angle camera was reprojected to create this orthogonal view.
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 in Washington. 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.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute