Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2020 June 20
Explanation: Today's solstice brings summer to planet Earth's northern hemisphere. But the northern summer solstice arrived for ringed planet Saturn over three years ago on May 24, 2017. Orbiting the gas giant, Saturn's moon Titan experiences the Saturnian seasons that are about 7 Earth-years long. Larger than inner planet Mercury, Titan was captured in this Cassini spacecraft image about two weeks after its northern summer began. The near-infrared view finds bright methane clouds drifting through Titan's dense, hazy atmosphere as seen from a distance of about 507,000 kilometers. Below the clouds, dark hydrocarbon lakes sprawl near its fully illuminated north pole.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.