The Colors of Titan and Saturn: Big Pic

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July 5, 2012 — The pumpkin-orange colors of Titan's thick, opaque clouds appear in complementary contrast in front of Saturn's sunlit limb, which appears blue due to the composition of its atmosphere and Rayleigh scattering, the same process that makes the sky look blue here on Earth.

BIG PIC: Peering Deep into Titan's Impressive Atmosphere

Titan's upper haze layer, thickest at the northern and southern poles and extending to altitudes of over 180 miles (300 km), can be discerned as well.

The image is a color composite made from three separate raw images acquired by Cassini on July 1, 2012. Captured in red, green and blue visible light wavelengths, when combined the result is a relatively true-color image as our eyes might see it.

Cassini was over 1.7 million miles (2.7 million km) from Titan when the original images were captured.

-- by Jason Major