Astronomy Picture of the Day
November 14, 2012

Seasonal or Permanent?
Seasonal or Permanent?

Credits: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/Lunar Explorer Italia/IPF

Even though it is still nighttime at the South Pole, the Vortex, which swirls high in the Sky of Titan, is already illuminated by the Sunlight and stands out (relatively) brightly against the other - and possible Water-Ice - Clouds that can be seen to the left of the Terminator (still near the South Polar Regions of Titan, but on the daytime side of this complex and fascinating Saturnian moon). The NASA - Cassini Spacecraft, as you have noticed, keeps monitoring very carefully the development of this South Polar Vortex (a true Titanian Oddity anyway), so to help Scientists and Researchers from all over the World to better understand the (perhaps just) seasonal changes that occur in the Atmosphere of Titan.


This outstanding view looks toward the Trailing Hemisphere of Titan; North is up and rotated to the left. The image was taken with the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft Narrow-Angle Camera on Aug. 31, 2012, using a Spectral Filter sensitive to Wavelengths of Near-InfraRed Light, centered at 938 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 750.000 miles (such as about 1,2 Million KiloMeters - MKM) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-Spacecraft, or Phase, Angle of 74°. Image scale is about 4 miles (such as approx. 6,4 Km) per pixel.


This picture (which is an Original NASA - Cassini Spacecraft b/w frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 14634) has been additionally processed and then colorized, according to an informed speculation carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga (LXTT-IPF), in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a human eye would actually perceive if someone were onboard the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft and then looked outside, towards the Saturnian moon Titan), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team. Different colors, as well as different shades of the same color, mean, among others, the existence of different Elements present in the Atmosphere of Titan, each having a different Albedo (---> Reflectivity) and Chemical Composition.



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