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Titan’s Golden, Smog-like Atmosphere

Published by Matt on Mon Nov 2, 2009 7:21 pm via: source
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Titan’s golden, smog-like atmosphere and complex layered hazes appear to Cassini as a luminous ring around the planet-sized moon. The world beneath that haze has become slightly less mysterious under the gaze of Cassini and its Huygens probe, but many new discoveries await.

This mosaic view of Titan represents “Target 3″ in the fall 2009 edition of the Cassini Scientist for a Day contest. (See http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/education/scientistforaday8thedition/.) The contest is designed to give students a taste of life as a scientist by challenging them to write an essay describing the value of one target choice among three for Cassini to image.

Titan’s golden, smog-like atmosphere. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Titan’s golden, smog-like atmosphere. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Images taken using red, blue and green spectral filters were combined to create this color view. Six images – two sets of three colors – were combined to create the mosaic. The images were acquired with the Cassini wide-angle camera on Oct. 12, 2009 at a distance of 145,000 kilometers (90,000 miles) from Titan.

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 mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

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