Cassini captures Saturn and Titan in natural colors

Saturn and its largest moon Titan again posed the spacecraft "Cassini".

Eight years ago, when the station just arrived to the places in the northern hemisphere of Saturn was winter and it was a sky-blue. Now comes the winter in the southern part of the planet — and the picture changes: the blue fades in the northern hemisphere, gradually painting the South.

On the other three images seen recently discovered southern polar vortex in the atmosphere of Titan. Camera "Cassini", operating in the visible part of the spectrum, there is observed accumulation of yellowish mist from March 27, and May 22 infrared spectrometer recorded concentrations of clouds around the south pole. After orbiting satellite, on 27 June, "Cassini" sent a great picture and video, which showed that the vortex rotates faster than the moon itself. Photographs presented here were obtained in May, June and July.

Some of these pictures were made possible only thanks to the new orbits "Cassini", which allow you to see the poles of Saturn and its moons.

The giant moon and a giant planet in natural colors. In Saturn's southern hemisphere winter comes, so it takes on a bluish tint. This is due, most likely, with a reduction of UV radiation and the relevant clearing the atmosphere: increasing the chances of a direct scattering of sunlight by air molecules makes the sky blue, and on Saturn, and on Earth. The presence of methane, which absorbs the red part of the spectrum, amplifies the effect. Emphasizes blue and the shadow of the rings falling on the winter hemisphere. To create a natural color used mosaic of six images — two pictures of red, green and blue spectral filters. Photos made wide-angle camera May 6, 2012 with the approximate distance to 778 thousand kilometers from Titan. (Here and below the image NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSI.)In this picture, part of Titan closed rings of Saturn. South polar vortex seen below. Top cap can be considered fog, which looks a little darker than the rest of the atmosphere. Rings appear darker in the center of the picture because of the shadow cast on them planet. Thin strip — is Titan, which is seen through the gap between the rings A and B, named after Giovanni Cassini. Image is also a mosaic. Wide-angle camera shots were taken May 16, 2012 with an approximate distance of 3 million kilometers from Titan.

Here the "Cassini" is looking at the night side of Titan, observing the scattering of sunlight on the periphery of the moon's atmosphere. This mosaic of photographs taken June 6, 2012 with the approximate distance of 216 thousand kilometers.

The newly formed southern polar vortex. Mosaic of images taken July 25, 2012 with the approximate distance of 103 thousand kilometers.

Prepared according to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


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