CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Northern Bands

Titan's fast-rotating atmosphere creates circumpolar bands in the north.

Cassini acquired this view of the smoggy moon following a flyby of Titan (5,150 kilometers, 3,200 miles across) on March 26, 2007.

The image was taken in visible violet light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera at a distance of approximately 275,000 kilometers (171,000 miles) from Titan. Image scale is 33 kilometers (20 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: April 27, 2007 (PIA 08928)
Image/Caption Information
  Northern Bands
PIA 08928

Avg Rating: 9/10

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Alliance Member Comments
carolyn (CICLOPS) (Apr 29, 2007 at 9:08 AM):
Kevin...the atmosphere of Titan, like Earth's, is largely molecular nitrogen. There are organic compound, the simplest being methane, which can be either gas, liquid or solid (ie, ice) on Titan. The destruction of gaseous methane high in the atmosphere creates the ubiquitous haze in the atmosphere.
Kevin S. Moore (Apr 27, 2007 at 11:03 PM):
How fast is it rotating? Looks a little like the bands in the Saturn atmostphere.
Very interesting photo. Is it common for all these gas's to react this way in
such a very cold environment? Methane is it not? Think what this could do for
the energy needs on earth if we could tap into this.. with of course a
environmental consevation policy. After following the all the success of
Cassini.. the photo data, I cannot look at our own grand canyon without
thinking about Titian. With the sparse data Huygens sent to us via the Cassini
mission it is far far beyond into the next generation. In other words, it was
fountains of information! The oceans of the Cosmos are deep .. Captian.

Kevin... 2nd shift