NASA has released a number of new images of Saturn and Titan snapped by the agency’s Cassini spacecraft.
The pictures show Saturn’s largest, most colorful moon, Titan, and other icy baubles (moons) in orbit around this splendid planet.
A few of Saturn’s stark, airless, icy moons appear to dangle next to the orange orb of Titan, the only moon in the solar system with a substantial atmosphere.
As NASA scientist Carolyn Porco notes, Titan’s atmosphere is of great interest because of its similarities to the atmosphere believed to exist long ago on the early Earth.
While it may be wintry in Earth’s northern hemisphere, it is currently northern spring in the Saturnian system and it will remain so for several Earth years.
Current plans to extend the Cassini mission through 2017 will supply a continued bounty of scientifically rewarding and majestic views of Saturn and its moons and rings, as spectators are treated to the passage of northern spring and the arrival of summer in May 2017.
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.
The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.