Saturn's large, smog-enshrouded moon Titan greets Cassini in full color as the spacecraft makes its third close pass on Feb. 15, 2005.
This view has been rotated so that north on Titan is up. There is a slight difference in brightness from north to south, a seasonal effect that was noted in NASA's Voyager spacecraft images, and is clearly visible in some infrared images from Cassini (see http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA06121). The northern polar region is largely in darkness at this time.
This image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide angle camera through using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The image was acquired at a distance of approximately 229,000 kilometers (142,000 miles) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 20 degrees. Resolution in the image is about 14 kilometers (9 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 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.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute