CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Splitting Titan
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Light and dark halves of Titan are visible in this Cassini image taken with a spectral filter sensitive to absorption of certain wavelengths of light by methane in the moon's atmosphere, illustrating the seasonal changes in the northern and southern hemispheres.

See PIA11603 to learn more about this seasonal hemispheric dichotomy. This view looks toward the anti-Saturn side of Titan (3200 miles, 5150 kilometers across). North on Titan is up and rotated 29 degrees to the right. The moon's north polar hood is also visible in the top right of the view (see PIA08137 and PIA11594).

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 31, 2012 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 890 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 130,000 miles (210,000 kilometers) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 24 degrees. Image scale is 8 miles (12 kilometers) per pixel.

The Cassini Solstice 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 Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: May 28, 2012 (PIA 14610)
Image/Caption Information
  Splitting Titan
PIA 14610

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Alliance Member Comments
NeKto (May 28, 2012 at 5:30 PM):
What a fascinating planet. even tho it is orbiting another fascinating planet.
i remember in grammar school being taught that planets were very rare in the galaxy and planets with atmospheres had to be even rarer. i never could reconcile that with the fact that the only star we were close enough to detect planets around had nine we could see. Seven of the nine had atmospheres we could detect and most of the planets had planets. now our technology has reached the point where my skepticism has been justified. we have a wonderful collection of worlds in our solar system. what great fun it is to be able to share in close observations of so many of them. what great fun those who follow us will have when they can share similar observation of what we call exoplanets.

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