CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Hovering Titan
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Hovering Titan
PIA 07519

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  Hazy Titan (5,150 kilometers, 3,200 miles across) drifts above Saturn's foreshortened ringplane in this view taken only a tenth of a degree above the rings. Titan's small orbital inclination is enough to make it appear above the ringplane from this viewing angle.

The Sun is below the rings in this image, so light that makes it to Cassini is that which has been diffusely transmitted through the rings. Thus, the densest parts of the rings appear dark in this image, and the dusty gaps in the rings, such as the Cassini Division, appear bright.

The image was taken in visible light with the narrow angle camera on March 25, 2005, from a distance of approximately 3.2 million kilometers (2 million miles) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 50 degrees. The image scale is 19 kilometers (12 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 Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: June 13, 2005 (PIA 07519)
Image/Caption Information