Despite the views of Titan's surface that Cassini is able to provide, the moon remains inscrutable to the human eye. In true color images that are taken in the visible wavelengths, Titan's photochemical smog, rich in organic material, gives the moon a smooth featureless orange glow.
The Cassini orbiter carries specially-designed spectral filters that can pierce Titan's veil. Its piggybacked Huygens probe will descend through the atmosphere in early 2005, giving an up-close-and-personal look at this mysterious orange moon.
Images taken with the narrow angle camera using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this color view. The images were obtained at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 67 degrees and from a distance of approximately 13.1 million kilometers (8.2 million miles) on June 10, 2004. Image scale is approximately 79 kilometers (49 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 Office of Space Science, 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.