Now that’s a big shadow!

This was a suprising find amongst the raw images from Cassini this evening….a photo of Saturn, similar to the one I posted previously, but with a massive shadow cast upon its southern hemisphere. I presume it’s from Titan, somewhere out of frame, based upon its size and hazy edges (indicative of the big moon’s thick…

Photojacked!

In a bit of sisterly silliness, Rhea appears to have photojacked an otherwise lovely portrait of her big sister Titan in this image from Cassini! An honest mistake, I’m sure….the smaller moon quickly realized her transgression and exited the scene shortly after: 🙂 In all seriousness though, these photos illustrate the amazing differences in Saturn’s…

Sister Moons

Little Tethys is getting a lot of face time in front of Cassini’s lens. In this photo, from a raw image taken on October 17, Tethys passes across the hazy face of her much larger sister, Titan. 662-mile-wide Tethys is dwarfed by the 3,200-mile-wide Titan, although the distance that separates them in this image reduces…

Smooth as Glass

The dark spot in the middle of this image is Ontario Lacus, possibly a shallow lake filled with liquid methane located near the south pole of Titan, imaged with synthetic-aperture radar by Cassini. Ontario Lacus on Titan covers about 5,800 square miles in area—about four-fifths the size of Lake Ontario here on Earth.

The Ring

No, it’s not the final frame of a haunted videotape…it’s a backlit Titan, silhouetted against the sun, photographed by Cassini from over 850,000 miles away. Titan’s upper-level atmospheric haze is illuminated in this image, surrounding the moon high above the cloudtops. The haze is a mixture of complex hydrocarbons created by the breakdown of methane…

A River Runs Through It

…or has very recently, geologically speaking. But that river would be of liquid methane, not water. And it would be hundreds of degrees below zero. And it would be on Saturn’s moon Titan. This topographic radar image, taken by Cassini during a flyby of the moon on May 21, pierced the dense clouds of Titan…

Trekking to Titan

  For any of you who’ve seen the new Star Trek film by director J.J. Abrams, you know what I’m talking about. For those of you who haven’t (yet), there’s a few spoilers here so…read at your own risk 🙂   I’m not the biggest fan of Star Trek, there being so many more people…

Through the Clouds

  A background star is caught within Titan’s atmosphere, as seen by Cassini during its May 5 flyby, seemingly trapped between the cloudtops and high haze layer that surrounds the moon. Eventually the star sinks behind the enshrouding clouds, its light eclipsed by the moon. See image at right. These images are raw and uncalibrated….

A Hazy Shade of Titan

Cassini looks down onto Titan’s north pole, its camera revealing the high-level atmospheric haze that encircles the 3,200-mile-wide moon. This image was shot in visible violet light on March 27, 2009, using Cassini’s wide-angle camera. The spacecraft was 122,000 miles away from Titan at the time. The sunlit part of Titan is the side that…

Hazed and Diffused

  Cassini captured this intriguing glimpse into Titan’s thick haze during its latest flyby. Made up of complex hydrocarbons, formed from the breakdown of methane by solar radiation, this pale blue shroud extends hundreds of miles above the moon’s surface…ten times thicker, in fact, than our own atmosphere. This is a raw image from the…

Ice Volcanoes on Titan?

This infrared image, taken by Cassini during a March 27, 2009 flyby of Titan, shows a bright area of topography called “Hotei Arcus” that is believed to be active with volcanoes that ooze slushy ice rather than molten rock. Over the past four years, this area has undergone variations in brightness that indicate resurfacing activity of…

A Twilight Moon

  In addition to its enshrouding atmosphere, Saturn’s moon Titan also has a high layer of haze that encircles it. Made up of complex hydrocarbons from the breakdown of methane and nitrogen, this haze completely covers the moon and extends over 670 miles into space. 3,200 miles across, Titan’s atmosphere is 10 times thicker and…