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Picture of the Day - Titan Beyond the Rings

Published by Matt on Tue Jun 8, 2010 2:07 pm via: NASA JPL
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Cassini delivers this stunning vista showing small, battered Epimetheus and smog-enshrouded Titan, with Saturn’s A and F rings stretching across the scene.

Titan Beyond the Rings. Credit: NASA/JPL

Titan Beyond the Rings. Credit: NASA/JPL

The color information in the colorized view is completely artificial: it is derived from red, green and blue images taken at nearly the same time and phase angle as the clear filter image. This color information was overlaid onto the previously released clear filter view (see Stunning Vistas) in order to approximate the scene as it might appear to human eyes.

The prominent dark region visible in the A ring is the Encke gap (325 kilometers, or 200 miles wide), in which the moon Pan (26 kilometers, or 16 miles across) and several narrow ringlets reside. Moon-driven features which score the A ring can easily be seen to the left and right of the Encke gap.

A couple of bright clumps can be seen in the F ring.

Epimetheus is 116 kilometers (72 miles) across and giant Titan is 5,150 kilometers (3,200 miles) across.

The view was acquired with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 28, 2006, at a distance of approximately 667,000 kilometers (415,000 miles) from Epimetheus and 1.8 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Titan. The image captures the illuminated side of the rings. The image scale is 4 kilometers (2 miles) per pixel on Epimetheus and 11 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel on 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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