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The Cassini spacecraft captured this color portrait of Saturn and Titan only a few minutes before the haze-enshrouded moon slipped behind the planet’s enormous bulk. The view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 5 degrees below the ringplane.
The northern hemisphere of Titan (5,150 kilometers, 3,200 miles across) presently appears darker than the south, a feature presumed to be a seasonal effect.
Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were acquired with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 29, 2008 at a distance of approximately 2.3 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) from Titan and 1 million kilometers (630,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 135 kilometers (84 miles) per pixel on Titan and 61 kilometers (38 miles) per pixel on Saturn.
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