Cassini's finely-tuned vision reveals seasonal differences in the global haze that envelopes Titan in this narrow angle camera image from October 24, 2004. Here the northern hemisphere of Titan, observed in a filter sensitive to strong absorption by methane gas (centered at 889 nanometers) is notably brighter than the southern hemisphere, because there is more haze in the north. The presence of haze in the northern hemisphere was also observed in images returned by the Voyager spacecraft in 1981. The haze distribution was reversed, North to South, in Hubble observations from 1994 to 2000.
The image was taken from a distance of 1.08 million kilometers (675,000 miles) from Titan. The image scale is 6.52 kilometers (4.05 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.