CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Atmospheric Halo
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Atmospheric Halo
PIA 11526

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  Cassini looks down on Titan's north pole and unveils the moon's upper-most atmospheric hazes, creating the appearance of a halo around Saturn's largest moon.

For a color view of the atmosphere's upper layers from another viewing geometry, see PIA 11468.

Lit terrain seen here is on the trailing hemisphere and Saturn-facing side of Titan (5150 kilometers, 3200 miles across). This view is centered on 54 degrees north latitude, 251 degrees west longitude. Titan's north pole lies on the terminator about one-third of the way inward from the top of the image.

The image was taken in violet light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on May 21, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 147,000 kilometers (91,000 miles) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 121 degrees. Image scale is 9 kilometers (5 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini Equinox Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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 Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: July 1, 2009 (PIA 11526)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
mipsandbips (Jul 5, 2009 at 7:28 PM):
This image of Titan's atmosphere clearly shows a "uniform-ness"
to it. The halo effect also shows another very interesting
aspect where as the hazy atmosphere approaches the unlit shadow
of Titan in this image, there appears a slight divergence
away from it expanding further out.

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