Titanesque

Here’s an image of Titan as seen by Cassini on May 23, 2010. I combined data from the red, green and blue color filters as well as overlaying some surface detail of the moon’s dark dune fields captured with the spacecraft’s cloud-piercing near-infrared camera. Image: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute/J. Major

A Clouded Giant

Image data are now coming in from today’s flyby of Titan, the image above is a rotated color-composite made from three raw images taken with Cassini’s red, green and blue visible light color filters. (I think I got the north-south alignment right…) Titan’s high-level hydrocarbon haze is visible, a pale blue and violet band encircling…

Through the Plumes

Emily Lakdawalla of The Planetary Society calls this “the most amazing image of Enceladus Cassini has captured yet.” While I like some of the images from November’s flyby a bit more, this is still very, very cool! It is a combination of two images (processed by unmannedspaceflight.com member Astro0) taken during the same flyby event,…

In Living Color

    I’ve been playing around with making color versions of images from the Cassini raw image downloads, now that I know what to look for it’s relatively easy to put together a somewhat “natural color” version of the sights around the Saturn system. (The image above was a little trickier, I had to take…

Little Sister

111-mile-wide Janus passes in front of the face of her much larger sister Titan in this image from Cassini, taken on March 27. At 3,200 miles wide, Titan is one of the largest moons in the solar system, even larger than the planet Mercury. A thick atmosphere keeps its frigid and gloomy surface permanently hidden…

Just Passing By

It’s been a while since I posted one of these…it’s an animation made up of 16 raw images from the Cassini spacecraft, taken on March 12, showing Saturn’s moons Dione and Titan passing each other. The small, cratered and frozen Dione couldn’t be more different than her much larger, haze-enshrouded sister Titan, but we’re reminded…

Remembering Titan

This image was first released five years ago today, on January 15, 2005. It shows the murky surface of Saturn’s moon Titan as seen by the European Space Agency’s Huygens probe after it made its historic descent through the moon’s thick haze and clouds and landed in a frozen plain of methane mud and icy…

Senkyo Very Much

This is a close-up image of Senkyo, a large region on Titan made up of dark dune fields. Regions like this are called “low albedo” , or low reflectivity, areas and they wrap around the moon’s equatorial region. The dunes may be made up of material that falls from Titan’s thick smoglike atmosphere. When weather…

In the Stream of Stars

Titan floats in front of a streaked backdrop of stars in this photo from Cassini, taken on November 30. The Cassini orbiter was nearly a million and a half miles away from Titan when it took this image. Typically images aren’t exposed to capture both moons and stars…when they are, the results can be fascinating….

Rising from the Haze

  No, it’s not the Enterprise emerging from Titan’s clouds, it’s Tethys, seen in the distance through the larger moon’s outer layer of hydrocarbon haze. Tethys’ giant Odysseus crater is easily visible adorning its north pole and slicing into its terminator. This image was taken on November 26, 2009 by the Cassini spacecraft at a…

Big Sisters

Rhea and Titan, Saturn’s two largest moons, align in Cassini’s lens in this image taken on November 19, 2009. I level-adjusted and rotated the original raw image file…”north” would be to the right in this view. Rhea is 949 miles wide, cold, icy and airless. Titan, 3,200 miles wide, is also frigidly cold but is…

An Example of Extremes

Giant, haze-covered Titan sits in front of  craggy, potato-shaped Hyperion in this image from Cassini, taken on November 13. These two vastly different moons occupy neighboring orbits and thus affect each other’s travels around Saturn…although Titan obviously takes the lead in this dance. 168-mile-wide Hyperion is forced to speed up and slow down as it…