Titan Images 2018

The image above reveals the second largest moon of Saturn Rhea moving in front of Titan, the largest moon of the Gas Giant. Rhea orbits closer to Saturn than Titan does. One can notice the sharp contrast in the appearance of both moons. Rhea unveils a multitude of craters and is devoid of any significant atmosphere whereas the Orange Moon is covered by a completely opaque atmosphere. The atmospheric pressure on the surface of Titan is higher than that of the Earth at sea level. The atmosphere of the Hazy Moon is mainly composed of nitrogen and it unveils a relatively significant concentration of methane.
The image represents a natural color view acquired in visible light from the Narrow-Angle Camera of the Cassini spacecraft on November 19, 2009. The photograph was obtained at a distance of about 713,300 miles or 1,148,000 kilometers from the icy moon Rhea. The crescent of Rhea and Titan brings clues upon the position of the Sun or the orientation of solar radiations in this image. The orbital inclination of Titan and Rhea is particularly low relative to the plane of Saturn's equator.

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

 

The view above reveals the disk of Saturn's largest moon Titan eclipsed by the Ringed Planet Saturn. The Opaque Moon is weakly illuminated here. The camera is orientated upward toward the south polar region of the Orange Moon. The south pole appears on the terminator roughly a quarter of the way inward from the right of the visible sphere. The illuminated area observed here is found on the Saturn-facing side of the giant moon. In the shadow of the Gas Giant, the southern hemisphere of the Hazy Moon is illuminated by two sources: solar radiations scattered through the rings of the Gas Giant and refracted solar radiations going through the edge of Saturn's deep gas blanket.
The view was acquired in visible light with the Wide-Angle Camera of the Cassini spacecraft on May 7, 2009 at a distance of about 667,000 kilometers or 414,000 miles from the Opaque Moon and at a Sun-Titan-probe, or phase, angle of 58 degrees. In the background, stars appear elongated due to the relatively long camera exposure time representing 560 seconds. A relatively long exposure time was needed to reveal the faint light reflected by the disk of Titan.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

 

The view above clearly shows a portion of Titan's upper atmosphere where several blue haze layers can be discerned. The atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon is completely opaque in the visible spectrum and appears globally orange or brown. The atmosphere of the giant moon is mainly composed of nitrogen like the atmosphere of the Earth. Oxygen is absent or quasi-absent in the atmosphere of the Hazy Moon. Titan's atmosphere unveils a relatively high concentration of methane. The haze of the icy moon results, in particular, from interactions between molecules, ions or elements present in the upper part of Titan's atmosphere and ultraviolet radiations from the Sun. Complex organics or hydrocarbons falling toward the surface can be engendered in that soup of compounds or in that smog.
The image corresponds to a natural color view obtained in visible radiations from the Wide-Angle Camera of the Cassini probe on March 31, 2005. The view was acquired at a distance of about 20,556 miles or 33,083 kilometers from the Opaque Moon. The camera was orientated toward the north polar region on the night side. The north polar region where most lakes and seas are found on Titan was experiencing the Winter season. Only a small portion of Titan's illuminated crescent can be noticed on the right part of the image. The mission of the Cassini orbiter came to an end on September 15, 2017.

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

 

Titan Images 2017
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