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Cassini science update
Radar imagery of Saturn's moon Titan and other new data from the Cassini spacecraft is presented during this JPL news conference on Thursday. (54min 48sec file)
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Post-flyby briefing
Scientists and mission officials discuss the initial pictures and data obtained during Cassini's flyby of Titan during this JPL news conference on Wednesday. (55min 18sec file)
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First pictures
The first pictures taken by Cassini during this close encounter with Titan are received at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to the delight of the mission's imaging leader. (2min 21sec file)
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Images flood in
A Cassini mission scientist provides analysis as the raw images taken of Titan's surface flood into the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (29min 29sec file)
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Flyby explained
Detailed animation illustrates Cassini's flyby of Titan and how the probe's instruments will study this moon of Saturn. Expert narration is provided by a project official. (3min 09sec file)
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Titan knowledge
Knowledge about the mysterious moon Titan prior to this first close encounter is described by the Cassini mission's imaging leader. (6min 46sec file)
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Moving clouds
Clouds near the south pole of Titan can be seen moving in this collection of pictures from Cassini as narrated by the mission's imaging leader. (2min 12sec file)
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Picture processing
How Cassini's raw pictures are processed by scientists is explained in this interview with the mission imaging leader. (5min 56sec file)
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Radar image shows Titan's surface live and in color
CASSINI PHOTO RELEASE
Posted: November 6, 2004

Saturn's moon Titan shows a sharp contrast between its smooth and rough edges in a new false-color radar image.

Titan's surface lies beneath a thick coat of hazy clouds, but Cassini's radar instrument can peer through to show finer surface features. Scientists have added color to emphasize finer details on Titan, as shown in the image.

To provide a better perspective of the surface features, the color image is shown next to a black-and-white image that was previously released.


Credit: NASA/JPL
Download larger image version here

 
Brighter areas may correspond to rougher terrains, slopes facing the radar, or different materials. The pink colors enhance smaller details on the surface, while the green color represents smoother areas. Winding linear features that cut across dark areas may be ridges or channels, although their nature is not yet understood. A large dark circular feature is seen at the western (top left) end of the image, but very few features on Titan resembling fresh impact craters are seen.

The area shown is in the northern hemisphere of Titan and is about 150 kilometers (93 miles) wide by 300 kilometers (186 miles) long. The image is a part of a larger strip created from data taken on Oct. 26, 2004, when the Cassini spacecraft flew approximately 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) above Titan's surface.

The radar instrument works by bouncing radio signals off Titan's surface and timing their return. This is similar to timing the returning echo of your voice across a canyon to tell how wide the canyon is. Approximately 1 percent of Titan's surface was mapped during the Oct. 26 flyby.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The radar instrument team is based at JPL.

Cassini poster
Just in time for the Cassini spacecraft's arrival at Saturn, this new poster celebrates the mission to explore the ringed planet and its moons.
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2005 Calendar
The 2005 edition of the Universe of the Hubble Space Telescope calendar is available from our U.S. store and will soon be available worldwide. This 12x12-inch calendar features spectacular images from the orbiting observatory.
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Moon panorama
Taken by Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard, this panoramic poster shows lunar module pilot Edgar Mitchell as a brilliant Sun glare reflects off the lunar module Antares.
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Mars Rover mission patch
A mission patch featuring NASA's Mars Exploration Rover is now available from the Astronomy Now Store.
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An insider's view of how Apollo flight controllers operated and just what they faced when events were crucial.
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