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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.