CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Titan Smiles Back

Titan Smiles Back
PIA 07707

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  This infrared view shows features on the leading hemisphere of Titan, including the bright, crescent-shaped Hotei arcus (right of center), which is also informally called "the Smile" by researchers.

The view is centered on the bright region called Xanadu. Above center is the large crater Menrva, which is surrounded by darker material.

North on Titan (5,150 kilometers, 3,200 miles across) is up and rotated 30 degrees to the left.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 13, 2006 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 938 nanometers. The image was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.3 million kilometers (800,000 miles) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 41 degrees. Image scale is 7 kilometers (5 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. 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-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: February 21, 2006 (PIA 07707)
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