Astronomy Picture of the Day
April 12, 2014

Titan's North Polar Regions
Titan's North Polar Regions

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

The NASA - Cassini Spacecraft peers down though several Layers of yellowish Haze to glimpse the Great Lakes located in Titan's Northern Regions. Titan (about 3200 miles, or approx. 5149,88 Km across) possesses an Hydrological Cycle similar to the Earth's one, but instead of Water, the Titanian Lakes and Seas, as you should already know, are filled with Liquid Methane and Ethane. The Lit Terrain seen here is located on the Leading Hemisphere of Titan, and North on is up. The image was taken with the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft Wide-Angle Camera on January 1st, 2014 using a Spectral Filter which preferentially admits Wavelengths of Near-InfraRed Light centered at 939 nanometers.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 114.000 miles (such as about 183.464,76 Km) from Titan and the image scale is roughly 7 miles (such as about 11,26 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 17159) 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 and Surface 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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