Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty

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.

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

Planetary Defense

An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.


Featured Images

LightSail 2 and Prox-1
Bill Nye at LightSail 2 pre-ship review
LightSail 2 pre-ship review team photo
Swirling maelstrom
More Images

Featured Video

Class 9: Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!