NASA Releases Clearest Images Yet Of Saturn’s Moon Titan

Posted: Jul 22 2018, 12:00am CDT | by , Updated: Jul 22 2018, 12:23am CDT , in Latest Science News


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NASA Releases Clearest Images Yet of Saturn’s Moon Titan
Credit: NASA

The images are created using 13 years of data acquired by Cassini spacecraft's Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) instrument

Taking advantage of the capacities of an imaging instrument on board Cassini spacecraft, NASA has produced some of the clearest and most detailed global views of the Saturn’s icy moon Titan. The six images in the collection are composite of 13 years of imagery obtained in infrared light by Cassini spacecraft’s Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) instrument and represent a wide variety of lighting and viewing conditions over the course of Cassini's mission.

The images combine red, green and blue colors and reveal the amazing variety in Titan’s surface. They are by far the best representation of how Titan might appear to the casual observer if we remove the moon's hazy atmosphere.

“Observing the surface of Titan in the visible region of spectrum is difficult, due to the globe-enshrouding haze around the moon. This is primarily because small particles called aerosols in Titan’s upper atmosphere strongly scatter visible light. But Titan’s surface can be more readily imaged in a few infrared “windows” -- infrared wavelengths where scattering and absorption of light is much weaker. This is where the VIMS instrument excelled, parting the haze to obtain clear images of Titan’s surface.” NASA statement reads.

Titan is Saturn’s largest moon and is the only moon in our solar system with substantial atmosphere. Titan is also the only place besides Earth known to have liquids in the form of rain, river, lakes and seas. Earth-like cycle of liquids make Titan a promising place for finding extraterrestrial life.

Until NASA’s Cassini mission, we knew very little about Titan and its atmosphere. Cassini mapped Titan’s surface, studied its thick, nitrogen-rich atmosphere and transformed our view of this remarkable world.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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