(Top view) near-infrared wavelength image. (Bottom view) longer wavelength image of same location at same time! Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Univ. Arizona/Univ. Idaho

(Top view) near-infrared wavelength image. (Bottom view) longer wavelength image of same location at same time! Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Univ. Arizona/Univ. Idaho

Hello Earthlings!

This week we peer into the mysterious cloud cover of Saturn's largest moon, Titan!

Titan is home to some extraordinary and rather unique features for such a large moon, one of which being the only moon with a thick atmosphere and similar surface pressure to that of Earth! With the clouds, planetary scientists were able to image with the Cassini probe weather and a type of cycle, similar to our Earthly water cycle. 

Except water is too cold at Titan's temperatures...what else is a liquid at the surface? Methane!

Cassini took images in the near-infrared of the cloud tops of Titan...and found very little. Some little wispy cloud bands and that's about it.

BUT when the images were taken in longer wavelengths...large blotches of clouds appear!

How? Why? We still don't know...but it may have something to do with that methane water-like cycle and the concentration of clouds around the larger polar lake regions!

Hopefully the mystery will unveil itself as planetary scientists are still sifting through the last of Cassini's data. 

Thank you for reading and come back next week for a look at what BepiColombo is all about!