The Cassini spacecraft examines Titan's dark and light seasonal hemispheric dichotomy as it images the moon with a filter sensitive to near-infrared light.
The southern hemisphere looks darker than the northern hemisphere using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 889 nanometers. This image also shows Titan's north polar hood (see Haze Layers on Titan and Titan's North Polar Hood). See Two Halves of Titan to learn more about the seasonal dichotomy.
This view looks toward the leading hemisphere of Titan (5,150 kilometers, or 3,200 miles across). North on Titan is up and rotated 2 degrees to the left.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 22, 2010. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (684,000 miles) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 37 degrees. Image scale is 6 kilometers (4 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 operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute