Astronomy Picture of the Day
January 18, 2014

Titanian Restlessness
Titanian Restlessness

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

Titan's restless Upper Atmosphere puts on a display with the "detached" Haze to the North (---> the so-called "North Polar Hood" - top of image) and the Polar Vortex to the South.

This view looks toward the Saturn-facing Hemisphere of Titan; North is up and rotated 24° to the left. The image was taken with the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft Narrow-Angle Camera on August 20, 2013 using a Spectral Filter sensitive to Wavelengths of Near-InfraRed Light centered at 889 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1,6 Million Miles (such as a little less than 2,575 Million KiloMeters) from Titan; the image scale is roughly 9 miles (such as approx. 14,484 Km) per pixel.

This frame (which is an Original NASA - CASSINI Spacecraft's b/w and NON Map-Projected image published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 17151) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, magnified to aid the visibility of the details, Gamma corrected and then colorized - according to an educated guess (or, if you wish, an informed speculation) carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga - 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 other things, the existence of different Elements (Gases) 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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