Picture of the Day: Saturn's Moon, Titan, Passes by the Planet's Rings

titan.jpg

Huygens_surface_color_sr.jpgNASA's Cassini spacecraft took this true-color image of Titan, the largest of Saturn's 53 moons, as it passed in front of the planet and its rings. The rings appear as a thin band, and their striped shadows encircle the planet's face. Titan is swathed in a dense, hazy atmosphere that obscures its surface to telescopes and cameras. In late 2004, Cassini broke apart from the Huygens probe, which landed on Titan's surface in early January of 2005 -- the only landing ever accomplished in the outer solar system. For 90 minutes after moonfall, Huygens collected and transmitted data to Cassini, including, at right, an image of Titan's surface. The above picture was taken by Cassini on May 21, 2011, from a distance of approximately 1.4 million miles from Titan.

Below, recent Pictures of the Day:



Images: 1. NASA; 2. Wikimedia Commons.

Presented by

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Technology

Just In