Astronomy Picture of the Day
August 28, 2013

Titan's North Polar Collar
Titan's North Polar Collar

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

Titan's "North Polar Collar" (also known as "North Polar Hood" and which, however, had been already spotted by the NASA - Voyager 2 Space Probe as well as by the Hubble Space Telescope) is now being observed and monitored by the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft. The "Collar" is believed to be seasonal in nature, but Researchers are still studying its possible cause/s and evolution.


This view looks toward the Saturn-facing Hemisphere of Titan; North is up and rotated 32° to the right. The image was taken with the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft Narrow-Angle Camera on April 13, 2013, using a spectral filter sensitive to Wavelengths of UltraViolet Light, centered at 338 nanometers; the picture was acquired at a distance of approximately 1,1 Million Miles (such as approx. 1,77 Million KiloMeters) from Titan, at a Sun-Titan-Cassini Spacecraft, or Phase, Angle of . Image scale is roughly 7 miles (such as about 11,26 Km) per pixel.


This frame (which is an Original NASA - Cassini Spacecraft b/w frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 17124) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, magnified to aid visibility of the details, Gamma corrected and then colorized, according to an educated guess carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF, in what they should be its 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.


Note: it is possible (but we, as IPF, have no way to be one-hundred-percent sure of such a circumstance), that the actual luminosity of Titan - as it is in this frame - would appear, to an average human eye, a little bit lower than it has been shown (or, better yet: interpreted) here.



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