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Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Pretty picture: spectacular Saturn and Titan

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

15-08-2013 8:04 CDT

Topics: Cassini, pretty pictures, Titan, amateur image processing, Saturn's moons, Saturn, many worlds

There's not much to say about this photo, other than: "wow." Thanks to Bill Dunford for pointing out this set of images on Cassini's raw images website.

EDIT: A few hours after I originally posted my version of this photo, Gordan Ugarkovic posted a much better version, so I've replaced my version with his version below. It's amazing how he managed to bring out details in the banding of Saturn's atmosphere.

Saturn and Titan

NASA / JPL / SSI / Gordan Ugarkovic

Saturn and Titan
Cassini captured this stunning view of Saturn and Titan from nearly behind the pair on August 11, 2013.

We're looking at Saturn and Titan from nearly behind. The Sun shines through Titan's atmosphere, making nearly a complete ring around it. This photo doesn't bear too-close scrutiny, because the data for red and green channels was returned to Earth at only half its full resolution. That's why the rings look a little pixelated. But the composition is really stunning. Nice work, Cassini team!

I've received several comments on Twitter about this photo, how "science fiction-y" it looks. That's space exploration for you -- turning science fiction into science fact.

See other posts from August 2013


Or read more blog entries about: Cassini, pretty pictures, Titan, amateur image processing, Saturn's moons, Saturn, many worlds


Gordan Ugarkovic: 08/15/2013 12:54 CDT

I only saw your version after I posted my own on UMSF. Were you aware that there's a 2nd RGB set availabe with all frames at full resolution? Perhaps that accounts for the more visible cloud banding in my composite.

Petteri Pyrrö: 08/16/2013 04:10 CDT

Absolutely stunning view! I wonder, though, where's the Titan positioned here - between Cassini and Saturn, or is Saturn between the two?

Emily Lakdawalla: 08/23/2013 06:22 CDT

Perhaps that's it, Gordan! Petteri: Titan is on the far side of Saturn from Cassini.

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