Titan Images 2017

The image above reveals, in particular, several elongated cloud patches evolving around the north polar region of Saturn's largest moon Titan. One can also notice the famous land of lakes and seas which appear relatively dark and uniform in this view. Titan's northern hemisphere is now experiencing the end of the Spring season. The long Summer season in the area will start very soon during the year of 2017. The lakes, seas or rivers may be mainly composed of methane, a simple hydrocarbon. The wispy clouds appear at high altitudes and at high latitudes. Researchers have noticed an increase in the amount or in the concentration of clouds in the area but they had expected the development of more clouds or larger cloud formations in this seasonal configuration. The sky of the Opaque Moon in the high latitudes of the northern hemisphere is surprisingly clear in this period of the Titanian year. Clouds are remarkably dynamic or sporadic. Researchers try to regularly monitor the atmosphere or the meteorology of Titan in order to have a correct insight into the level of cloud activity. Are the amount of clouds, the concentration of clouds or the distribution of clouds in line with the predictions of the prevailing meteorological model of Titan ?
The view was acquired with the Narrow-Angle Camera of the Cassini probe on October 29, 2016 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared radiation centered at 938 nanometers. The camera is orientated toward the Saturn-facing side of the Hazy Moon. North appears upward and is inclined 3 degrees to the left. The image of Titan's disk was taken at a distance of about 545,000 miles or 878,000 kilometers from the Opaque Moon. The infrared or near-infrared views allow us to discern surface features as well as clouds. One can also notice in this view the dark low-latitude areas which tend to be dominated by Seif Dunes or parallel and linear dunes extending over long distances under the influence of prevailing winds.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute.

 

Titan Images 2016
Titan Images 2015
Titan Images 2014
Titan Images 2013
Titan Images 2012

Titan Images 2011
Titan Images 2010
Titan Images 2009
Titan Images 2008
Titan Images 2007
Titan Images 2006
Titan Images 2005, 2004

Back to main page