Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Titan at Saturn: Close-up | NASA Cassini

Processed using calibrated red, green, and blue filtered images of Saturn's moon Titan taken by the Cassini spacecraft on December 17, 2015.

Titan is the largest moon of Saturn. It is the only moon known to have a dense atmosphere, and the only object in space, other than Earth, where clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found.

The atmosphere of Titan is largely nitrogen; minor components lead to the formation of methane and ethane clouds and nitrogen-rich organic smog. The climate—including wind and rain—creates surface features similar to those of Earth, such as dunes, rivers, lakes, seas (probably of liquid methane and ethane), and deltas, and is dominated by seasonal weather patterns as on Earth. With its liquids (both surface and subsurface) and robust nitrogen atmosphere, Titan's methane cycle is analogous to Earth's water cycle, at the much lower temperature of about 94 K (−179.2 °C; −290.5 °F).

Titan is the sixth gravitationally rounded moon from Saturn. Frequently described as a planet-like moon, Titan is 50% larger than Earth's Moon, and it is 80% more massive. It is the second-largest moon in the Solar System, after Jupiter's moon Ganymede, and is larger than the smallest planet, Mercury, but only 40% as massive. (Source: Wikipedia)

The Cassini spacecraft ended its mission on Sept. 15, 2017.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit: https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and http://www.nasa.gov/cassini

The Cassini-Huygens mission was 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, California, managed 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 was based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/CICLOPS/Kevin M. Gill
Image Date: December 17, 2015
Release Date: August 21, 2018


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