Aug 15, 2017: Saturn and Titan 'Rev 288' Raw Preview - These raw, unprocessed images of Saturn and Titan were taken on August 11th and 12th, 2017 and received on Earth August 12th and 13th, 2017.
Aug 11, 2017: Two Titans - These two views of Saturn's moon Titan exemplify how NASA's Cassini spacecraft has revealed the surface of this fascinating world.
Aug 11, 2017: Titan - NASA's Cassini spacecraft looks toward the night side of Saturn's moon Titan in a view that highlights the extended, hazy nature of the moon's atmosphere. During its long mission at Saturn, Cassini has frequently observed Titan at viewing angles like this, where the atmosphere is backlit by the Sun, in order to make visible the structure of the hazes.
Star Date: October 26, 2004
Here we are. Wondering and waiting.
Nearly half a century of exploring the bodies in orbit around our Sun has brought us to this point ... staring down Saturn's largest moon, the last, great mystery our solar system has to offer.
To us planetary explorers, Titan is a world apart. No other place we could visit, no other body we might study could present us with the possibilities promised by this cold, organic-rich and smoggy place.
In images taken on approach only a day ago, we have seen Titan's surface with greater clarity than we had in early July because of the more favorable viewing conditions of this encounter. While regions here and there may be reminiscent of other planetary bodies -- a boundary here that resembles a terrestrial shoreline, a marking there that reminds us of Neptune's satellite Triton -- in the end, this moon looks like no other place we've ever seen.
We are closer to Titan now than we've ever been before. The images we are expecting to receive should show details 10 times smaller, or better, than the best we have now.
This is history in the making. We will never be this innocent, or this ignorant, again. In a matter of hours, the solar system will become a very much smaller place.