Cassini's finely tuned vision reveals seasonal differences in the global haze that envelopes Titan in this narrow angle camera image taken on Oct. 24, 2004. The picture was taken through a filter sensitive to strong absorption by methane gas (wavelengths centered at 889 nanometers). Here, the northern hemisphere of Titan is notably brighter than the southern hemisphere, because there is more haze in the north. The presence of haze in the northern hemisphere was also observed in images returned by NASA's Voyager spacecraft in 1981. The haze distribution was reversed, north to south, in observations taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope from 1994 to 2000.
The image was taken from a distance of 1.08 million kilometers (675,000 miles) from Titan. The image scale is 6.52 kilometers (4.05 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 Cassini-Huygens 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.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and the Cassini imaging team home page, http://ciclops.org .
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute