This movie sequence of the south polar region of Titan was acquired over an 11.5-hr period on October 23, 2004 as the Cassini spacecraft approached its first very close Titan encounter. The images were acquired in a near-infrared filter that sees through the Titan stratospheric haze and makes surface and lower tropospheric features visible. Aside from the slow prograde rotation of the planet, a prominent polar cloud field often seen in ground-based images can be seen to evolve over the 11-hr period. The cloud evolution is complex and appears to include a general diverging motion.
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.