Cassini simultaneously peers through the haze in Titan's equatorial region down to its surface and captures the vortex of clouds hovering over its south pole.
The dark region near Titan's equator is Senkyo. See PIA11636 for a closer view of Senkyo and to learn more. For a color image of the south polar vortex on Titan, see PIA14919. For a movie of the vortex, see PIA14920.
Lit terrain seen here is on the Saturn-facing hemisphere of Titan (3200 miles, 5150 kilometers across). North on Titan is up and rotated 11 degrees to the left. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 20, 2012 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 938 nanometers.
The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.8 million miles (2.9 million kilometers) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 84 degrees. Image scale is 11 miles (17 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.