A Startling Vortex on the South Pole of Titan
The Cassini imaging team released today a near-true-color image and a movie taken during a flyby of Saturn’s moon Titan on June 27, 2012 by the Cassini spacecraft. The image reveals a swirling, whirling vortex forming high in the atmosphere overlying the south pole of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, as the moon’s southern hemisphere slowly becomes engulfed in the darkness of deep autumn. The south pole of Titan (3,200 miles across) is near the center of the view. Scientists have long known that the entire winter hemisphere of Titan can exhibit a polar “hood” of haze made of condensing organic compounds, but this is something new and amazing.