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Hilly Terrain on Titan.

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surface of Titan.
Perspective view showing the dark plains on the surface of Titan. Image credit: ESA/NASA/JPL.

This perspective view shows the hilly terrain on Saturn's Moon Titan. The image has been colour coded to show the altitude, with red being the highest areas, and blue the lowest. Stereo images were taken by Huygens as it descended into Titan's atmosphere earlier this year, and then the 3-D terrain was rendered in computer.

This perspective view shows dark plains on the surface of Saturn's Moon Titan about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the Huygens probe landing site. In this area many discrete bright feature are scattered across the dark plains.

This provides stereo coverage with a resolution of about 45 feet per pixel (about 14 meters) and a convergence angle of about 6 degrees. The perspective image is color-coded in altitude with blue lowest and red highest. The ridges in the center of the view are about 150 feet-high (roughly 50 meters); the area covered is about 1.6 miles by 1.6 miles (2.5 by 2.5 kilometers). The topographic features toward the bottom right part of the view are suggestive of flow and erosion by fluids on the surface.

A stereo pair of images (insert) was acquired from the Huygens descent imager/spectral radiometer. The left image was acquired from 8 miles (12.2 kilometers) above the surface with the high resolution imager; the right from 4 miles (6.9 kilometers) altitude with the medium resolution imager.

The Huygens probe was delivered to Saturn's Moon Titan by the Cassini spacecraft, which is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. NASA supplied two instruments on the probe, the descent imager/spectral radiometer and the gas chromatograph mass spectrometer.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.

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