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Titan's complex atmosphere
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- Title Titan's complex atmosphere
- Released 02/03/2006 11:47 am
- Copyright NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
This natural colour image shows Titan's upper atmosphere - an active place where methane molecules are being broken apart by solar ultraviolet light and the byproducts combine to form compounds like ethane and acetylene.
Lower down in the atmosphere, the haze turns into a globe-enshrouding smog of complex organic molecules. This thick, orange-coloured haze absorbs visible sunlight, allowing only perhaps 10 percent of the light to reach the surface.
This image was taken with the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera using red, green and blue spectral filters, which were combined to create this natural colour view.
The images were obtained at a distance of approximately 9500 kilometres from Titan on 31 March 2005. The image scale is approximately 400 metres per pixel.