In this view, individual layers of haze can be distinguished in the upper atmosphere of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Titan’s atmosphere features a rich and complex chemistry originating from methane and nitrogen and evolving into complex molecules, eventually forming the smog that surrounds the moon.
This natural color image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on March 31, 2005, at a distance of approximately 20,556 miles (33,083 kilometers) from Titan. The view looks toward the north polar region on the moon’s night side. Part of Titan’s sunlit crescent is visible at right.
The Cassini spacecraft ended its mission on September 15, 2017.
The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (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. 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, Colorado.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute