As it makes its death dive to the surface of Saturn, Cassini will be capturing data about Saturn’s rings and moons, the first of which was released today and is a set of images of one of Saturn’s moons Titan.
In the first image, we can see a couple of views of Titan’s high northern latitudes, on of which is black and white and shows some of the surface features of Saturn’s largest moon.
The second photo shows the moon’s surface obscured by clouds. What is particularly interesting is that both of these images were taken during the same period of the Titan flybys on June 7th and July 25th.
NASA says that the reason that only one had clouds, while the other didn’t is because of Cassini’s internals and two different cameras, the Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) and the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS).
The black-and-white image was taken with the ISS camera, which uses a near-infrared wavelength, and as such the haze appears thinner. VIMS takes a much thicker image at a longer infrared wavelength.
And those weren’t the only images that we were treated to this Christmas, Cassini also took a high-res image of another of Saturn’s moons, Pandora.
This image was captured during the Pandora flyby on December 18th, 2016.