Smog-enshrouded Titan shows itself to be a featureless orb in this Cassini image taken in visible light. There is no sign here of the streaky clouds seen near the moon's south pole in previous Cassini images of the opposite hemisphere. Titan's diameter is 5,150 kilometers (3,200 miles).
Although Titan's atmosphere blocks any view of its surface at visible wavelengths, Cassini is equipped with powerful cameras that can peer through the obscuring haze.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on Sept. 17, 2004, at a distance of 8.3 million kilometers (5.2 million miles) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 72 degrees. The image scale is 50 kilometers (31 miles) per pixel.
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 Cassini-Huygens 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 team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and the Cassini imaging team home page, http://ciclops.org .
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute