CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Orange and Blue Hazes

These views from NASA's Cassini spacecraft look toward the south polar region of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, and show a depression within the moon's orange and blue haze layers near the south pole.

The close-up view was captured with the narrow-angle camera. Another view taken a second later with the wide-angle camera is also included here for context.

The moon's high altitude haze layer appears blue here whereas the main atmospheric haze is orange. The difference in color could be due to particle size of the haze. The blue haze likely consists of smaller particles than the orange haze.

The depressed or attenuated layer appears in the transition area between the orange and blue hazes about a third of the way in from the left edge of the narrow-angle image. The moon's south pole is in the upper right of this image. This view suggests Titan's north polar vortex, or hood, is beginning to flip from north to south. See PIA08137 to learn about Titan's north polar hood. To learn about changes since Saturn's August 2009 equinox, see PIA11603 and PIA11667.

The southern pole of Titan is going into darkness as the sun advances towards the north with each passing day. The upper layer of Titan's hazes is still illuminated by sunlight.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were obtained on Sept. 11, 2011 at a distance of approximately 83,000 miles (134,000 kilometers) from Titan. Image scale is 2,581 feet (787 meters) 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.

For more information about the Cassini Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: December 22, 2011 (PIA 14913)
Image/Caption Information
  Orange and Blue Hazes
PIA 14913

Avg Rating: 8.85/10

Narrow-Angle View Full Size 1017x1017:
PNG 780 KB


Orange and Blue Hazes
PIA 14913

Avg Rating: 9.61/10

Wide-Angle View Full Size 924x657:
PNG 226 KB

Alliance Member Comments
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Jan 8, 2012 at 11:16 PM):
My rating would be '12' .
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Jan 8, 2012 at 11:08 PM):
Otherworldly fascinating ! Absolutely amazing !

Undoubtfully one of the best color images of the mission. Congratulations !

Looking to me far more like an orange giant planet ( not Saturn ) ( not Jupiter ) with a blue ring , but the ring being far too thick. The 'ring' has got a 'gap' at the right of the image where the color is more orangish letting the 'planet' shine thru.
Of course my scientific point of view says that this is not the case. It's Titan, the large orange moon of Saturn. I suppose that at the right the more orangish part within the blue haze is where the bluish haze is thinner letting shine thru the orange one partially.

Red_dragon (Dec 22, 2011 at 4:39 PM):
Superb contrast of blues and oranges on that closeup; it looks as if there was other largue body behind Titan.