Using a spectral filter, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft views the lakes of Saturn’s moon Titan.
The Cassini spacecraft peers down through layers of haze to glimpse the lakes of Titan’s northern regions.
Titan (3,200 miles, or 5,150 kilometers across) has a hydrological cycle similar to Earth’s, but instead of water, Titan’s lakes and seas are filled with liquid methane and ethane.
Lit terrain seen here is on the leading hemisphere of Titan. North on Titan is up. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on January 1, 2014 using a spectral filter which preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 939 nanometers.
The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 114,000 miles (183,000 kilometers) from Titan. Image scale is 7 miles (11 kilometers) 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, Colorado.
Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute