Astronomy Picture of the Day

Rotating Titan in Infrared Light

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#84705 by @ 16.02.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Rotating Titan in Infrared Light

Titan is one of the strangest places in
our Solar System.

The only moon known with
thick clouds, this unusual satellite of
shows evidence of evaporating lakes created by methane rain.

The clouds that make
Titan featureless in
visible light
have now been pierced several times in
infrared light by the
robot Cassini spacecraft
currently orbiting Saturn.

These images have been compiled into the
above time-lapse movie.

Like Earth's Moon,
Titan always shows the
same face toward its central planet.

It therefore takes Titan about 16 days to complete one rotation.

Titan has numerous areas of
light terrain with some large areas of
dark terrain
visible near the equator.

Small areas of brightest terrain might arise from
and have a high amount of reflective frozen

Titan's surface was imaged for the first time early last year by the
Huygens probe, which survived for three hours on a
cold and sandy dark region.

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