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Titan’s smoggy atmosphere glows brilliantly in scattered sunlight, creating a thin, gleaming crescent beyond Saturn’s rings. At this slight angle above the ringplane, the thin F ring shines brightly. Light from Titan’s eastern and western limbs (edges) penetrates the Cassini Division, which looks like a thin gap from this angle.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 18, 2006, at a distance of approximately 1 million kilometers (600,000 miles) from Saturn. Planet-sized Titan (5,150 kilometers, or 3,200 miles across) was 2.2 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) from Cassini at that time. The image scale is 13 kilometers (8 miles) per pixel on Titan.
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.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute