Astronomy Picture of the Week – Northern Summer on Titan

Another one from Cassini’s Grand Finale. And yeah, I’m a day late.

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft sees bright methane clouds drifting in the summer skies of Saturn’s moon Titan, along with dark hydrocarbon lakes and seas clustered around the north pole.

Compared to earlier in Cassini’s mission, most of the surface in the moon’s northern high latitudes is now illuminated by the sun. (See here for a view of the northern hemisphere from 2007.) Summer solstice in the Saturn system occurred on May 24, 2017.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 9, 2017, using a spectral filter that preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 938 nanometers. Cassini obtained the view at a distance of about 315,000 miles (507,000 kilometers) from Titan.

As usual, click on the image for the .tif download…

Northern Summer on Titan

Northern Summer on Titan


  1. StevoR says

    Great image even just in grey. Thanks.

    Going to be really interesting to see how much of Titan changes seasonally and in which ways. We’ll need a follow up mission here -maybe one day a human one.

    PS. At a tangent here but have you ever read Stephen Baxter’s Titan SF novel or John Varley’s more misleadingly named but contrastingly fun Titan one? Quite a contrast in tone but both good reads.

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