PIA11479: Titan's Murky South Pole

Titan’s Murky South Pole


This Cassini spacecraft image affords a view of Titan's south polar region, an area home to one of Titan's hydrocarbon "lake districts."

Titan's south pole is illuminated to the right of the terminator near the bottom of the visible disk. The dark area near the bottom, in Titan's mid-southern latitudes, is Mezzoramia. The wider, darker region near the equator is named Senkyo. A "lake district" (see PIA11147 ) containing what scientists believe are lakes of hydrocarbons has been found surrounding Titan's south pole.

Lit terrain seen here is on the Saturn-facing side of Titan (5,150 kilometers, or 3,200 miles across). North on Titan is up and rotated 27 degrees to the right. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 15, 2009 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 938 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.2 million kilometers (746,000 miles) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 55 degrees. Image scale is 7 kilometers (4 miles) per pixel.

Background Info:

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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/ . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Titan Saturn
System Saturn
Target Type Satellite Planet
Mission Cassini-Huygens
Instrument Host Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Detector Narrow Angle Camera
Extra Keywords Grayscale, Infrared, Rotation, Visual
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2009-04-27
Date in Caption 2009-02-15
Image Credit NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA11479
Identifier PIA11479