CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Above Titan's South

Titan's south polar vortex seems to float above the moon's south pole in this Cassini view.

The vortex, which is a mass of gas swirling around the south pole high in the moon's atmosphere, can be seen in the lower right of this view. See PIA14919 and PIA14920 to learn more. The moon's northern hood is also visible in the top left of this view. See PIA08137 and PIA12775 to learn more about the hood.

This view looks toward the leading hemisphere of Titan (3200 miles, 5150 kilometers across). North on Titan is up and rotated 25 degrees to the left.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 6, 2012 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 889 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.7 million miles (2.8 million kilometers) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 86 degrees. Scale in the original image was 11 miles (17 kilometers) per pixel. The image was contrast enhanced and magnified by a factor of 1.5 to enhance the visibility of surface features.

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: September 17, 2012 (PIA 14626)
Image/Caption Information
  Above Titan's South
PIA 14626

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Alliance Member Comments
NeKto (Sep 17, 2012 at 11:16 AM):
the only bodies we know that have deeper atmospheres than Titan do not have solid surfaces. i think that may have something to do with why this atmosphere is so much fun to watch.