ASI - Agenzia Spaziale Italiana - News ASI - Agenzia Spaziale Italiana - News
TITAN

Cassini, clouds around

Cassini spacecraft captured this view of bands of bright, feathery methane clouds drifting across Saturn's moon Titan

The view was obtained during a distant (non-targeted) flyby, during which Cassini passed 488,000 kilometers  above the moon's surface. Although Cassini will have no further close, targeted flybys of Titan, the spacecraft continues to observe the giant moon and its atmosphere from a distance.

 

The dark regions at top are Titan's hydrocarbon lakes and seas.

 

Two versions of this image are presented here, one with stronger enhancement (figure A) and one with much softer enhancement (figure B). 

 

The image was taken on May 7, 2017, at a distance of 508,000 kilometers. The view is an orthographic projection centered on 57 degrees north latitude, 48 degrees west longitude. An orthographic view is most like the view seen by a distant observer. Image scale is about 3 kilometers per pixel.

 

The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. 

ASI is one of the partners of the Cassini mission: on the basis of a cooperation agreement with NASA it has developed for Cassini the high gain antenna with the incorporation of a low-gain antenna (that ensure telecommunications with the Earth for the entire duration of the mission), the VIMS spectrometer, the radio-science subsystem (RSIS) and the radar which also uses the high-gain antenna.



ASI has also developed for the Huygens spacecraft the HASI instrument which measured the physical properties of the atmosphere and Titan's surface.