I’m a big fan of the Cassini probe, still running around taking awesome pictures of Saturn and her hodgepodge of moons. Above, a natural-color view of Titan’s atmosphere — more precisely, a dent in Titan’s atmosphere:
This view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft looks toward the south polar region of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, and shows a depression within the moon’s orange and blue haze layers near the south pole.
The moon’s high altitude haze layer appears blue here; whereas, the main atmospheric haze is orange. The difference in color could be due to particle size of the haze. The blue haze likely consists of smaller particles than the orange haze.
The depressed or attenuated layer appears in the transition area between the orange and blue hazes about a third of the way in from the left edge of the narrow-angle image. The moon’s south pole is in the upper right of this image. This view suggests Titan’s north polar vortex, or hood, is beginning to flip from north to south.
The southern pole of Titan is going into darkness as the sun advances towards the north with each passing day. The upper layer of Titan’s hazes is still illuminated by sunlight.
Below, the icy, tectonically active moon, Enceladus:
On Oct. 5, 2008, just after coming within 25 kilometers (15.6 miles) of the surface of Enceladus, NASA’s Cassini captured this stunning mosaic as the spacecraft sped away from this geologically active moon of Saturn.
Craters and cratered terrains are rare in this view of the southern region of the moon’s Saturn-facing hemisphere. Instead, the surface is replete with fractures, folds, and ridges–all hallmarks of remarkable tectonic activity for a relatively small world. In this enhanced-color view, regions that appear blue-green are thought to be coated with larger grains than those that appear white or gray.
Portions of the tiger stripe fractures, or sulci, are visible along the terminator at lower right, surrounded by a circumpolar belt of mountains. The icy moon’s famed jets emanate from at least eight distinct source regions, which lie on or near the tiger stripes. However, in this view, the most prominent feature is Labtayt Sulci, the approximately one-kilometer (0.6 miles) deep northward-trending chasm located just above the center of the mosaic.
Near the top, the conspicuous ridges are Ebony and Cufa Dorsae. This false-color mosaic was created from 28 images obtained at seven footprints, or pointing positions, by Cassini’s narrow-angle camera. At each footprint, four images using filters sensitive to ultraviolet, visible and infrared light (spanning wavelengths from 338 to 930 nanometers) were combined to create the individual frames. The mosaic is an orthographic projection centered at 64.49 degrees south latitude, 283.87 west longitude, and it has an image scale of 196 kilometers (122.5 miles) per pixel. The original images ranged in resolution from 180 meters (594 feet) to 288 meters (950 feet) per pixel and were acquired at distances ranging from 30,000 to 48,000 kilometers (18,750 to 30,000 miles) as the spacecraft receded from Enceladus. The view was acquired at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 73 degrees.