Head Off to Titan!

If you’re looking for cool images from space on the web today, there’s probably no more interesting place to be than the Cassini-Huygens homepage, which has newly-released images of a huge cloud system covering the north pole of Titan.

The images can also be seen on the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer instrument homepage, which also has detailed information on the technology behind Cassini’s observations:

VIMS has several unique capabilities. It is able to identify the chemical composition of a surface, atmosphere, or Satrun’s rings by measuring the visible and infrared energy. VIMS is, in essence, a color camera that takes pictures in 352 different wavelengths between 300 nm and 5100 nm. This range, coupled with the ability to discern different wavelengths (called spectral resolution), allows the VIMS instrument to be able to very accurately quantify the light it detects.

It’s also well worth checking out the flash animation that NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has up on their website, summarizing what is known about Titan, largely throught the observations of Cassini.