CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Hazy Ring of Titan's Sky

Hazy Ring of Titan's Sky
PIA 11468

Avg Rating: 9/10

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  From the dark side of Titan, Cassini profiles the moon's atmosphere as sunlight filters through its upper hazes.

An airless satellite would appear in this viewing geometry only as a lit crescent. But Titan's thick atmosphere scatters light around all edges of the planet to create a ring of light.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this full color view of Titan at high phase. The color in the image on the right has been computer enhanced to bring out the outer haze layer, and the contrast in both images has been enhanced.

This view looks toward the Saturn-facing side of Titan. North on Titan is up and rotated 45 degrees to the left. The images were acquired at a distance of approximately 1.8 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 157 degrees. Image scale is 11 kilometers (7 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: April 10, 2009 (PIA 11468)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
mipsandbips (Apr 12, 2009 at 4:58 PM):
The image of the outer atmosphere of Titan is amazingly brilliant with atmospheric depth and rotation visibly seen as being out of phase as the sun shines upon it.
Red_dragon (Apr 10, 2009 at 10:27 AM):
Amazingly beautiful; it has nothing to envide that superb "Titan's Halo" (; it reminds me a lot this Voyager image:

Keep this great stuff coming!