Saturn's Moon Titan Still Have Mysterious Clouds

Posted: Dec 30 2016, 8:45am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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Saturn's Moon Titan Still Have Mysterious Clouds
NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured these two images using its Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) and Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS). The upper ISS image shows relatively cloud-free skies, while the VIMS image captures widespread cloud cover. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Univ. Arizona/Univ. Idaho

Saturn's Moon Titan is Having Strange Clouds

NASA discovered some mysterious clouds over Titan, the Saturn’s moon. The Cassini had its journey over Titan on June 7, and July 25, and took several amazing photographs of Titan at its northern latitude.

NASA used ISS Imaging Science Subsystem, and VIMS-Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer to get the images. VIMS were able to capture these mysterious clouds through Titan’s hazy atmosphere. The VIMS captured image has infrared cloud.

These were two different views captured by Cassini’s cameras. But, a question arises that why the clouds are not present in all images. NASA is also confused about these mysterious clouds that were captured closely.

ISS is a digital camera with narrow and wide angle, which are sensitive for infrared, ultraviolet and other wavelengths of light. ISS captured the monochromes image from 640,000 kilometers that was cloud free area. But, VIMS took the bottom image from 45,000 km with a strong infrared wavelength, showing bright clouds on Titan, according to

Though, both the images were captured at different wavelengths, but researchers would think that the upper image would have the clouds. The scientists are trying to figure out the difference between two images, stated NASA officials.

Scientists also predicted that the clouds will become common during summer at high altitudes. Cassini saw several weather changes on titan since 2004, and the images show clouds in the north that has seas and lakes, stated NASA.

The difference between ISS and VIMS images is due to titan’s hazy atmosphere. The changes were noted when images were taken by VIMS and ISS over same 24 hrs. The clouds are thick at longer wavelengths, but thin at shorter wavelengths. Cassini did not see the clouds after July 2016, but it’s planning to observe Titan in its 2017’s mission, and NASA scientists will be monitoring the weather changes.

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