Multiple upper stratospheric haze layers are evident in this ultraviolet view from Cassini looking toward Titan's south pole. The alternating bright and dark bands may be due to differing haze concentrations produced by what may be gravity wave motions (the atmospheric equivalent of ripples on a pond), or perhaps they are evidence of shadows cast by haze layers moving upward as waves pass by in the atmosphere. East-west waves suggestive of other wave motions are also visible in these layers.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on Feb. 14, 2005, through a filter sensitive to wavelengths of polarized ultraviolet light centered at 338 nanometers. The image was acquired at a distance of approximately 151,000 kilometers (94,000 miles) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 20 degrees. Resolution in the image is about 900 meters (3,000 feet) 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.