Hubble Space Telescope map of Titan's surface

The latitude ranges from 60 deg South to 60 deg North, the longitude from 0 to 360 (E longitude increasing to the right, following the geographical--as opposed to astronomical--convention), with 180 in the center. The grid is 30 deg in latitude and in longitude. The sub-Saturn point is at 0 E, 0 N, and the sub-Earth latitude is 7 N. The contour lines are at 2% intervals. Want to see the color table? Click here. Generally speaking, yellow/white is bright terrain, and red is dark terrain. The grey areas and red boundaries were not imaged.

The Huygens landing site (assuming October 1997 launch) is 18 N, 208 E. This is somewhat right of center in the map, and left of the main part of the bright region. The longitude is uncertain by 11 degrees due to our lack of knowledge about the winds on Titan -- how strong are they, and (more importantly), which way do they blow? A possible prograde feature has been identified -- perhaps better observations of clouds will be made as the project continues.

This map was made from the 14 F850LP images of Titan, which are primarily sensitive to the 0.94 micron methane window. At the beginning of our obsering period, the sub-Earth longitude was about 240 E. The first seven images were taken approximately every seven hours, and have been used to attempt to locate and track clouds in a sort of Titanian weather movie. During the time these first seven images were taken, the large bright feature slowly moved off of the observable disk. The next seven images were spaced about every 32 hours and gave us near complete coverage of the surface, with the exception of a 96 hour gap centered near 10 deg. The bright feature re-appeared in the last two images.

To make the map, the haze background was subtracted from each image, leaving only surface features. The larger and brighter features are all real, that is, observed in multiple images. Some of the smaller brightness may be from clouds, and the very small and less contrasty "features" are likely to be noise. Signal to noise in the original images was about 200:1, and the range of contrast shown is plus or minus about 4% from the mean. Note that the map is an albedo map -- the brightness may be related to topography, but is not directly caused by topography.

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