NASA has unveiled a new time-lapse video that shows how clouds of methane gas streamed across the northern region of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, last month.
There is one big difference: Methane is the main ingredient for Titan’s clouds, while ours consist of water drops and ice crystals. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft got a good look at some wispy clouds moving through the atmosphere and skirting the moon’s hydrocarbon seas.
Cassini captured the fluffy images in late October and NASA posted the video compilation Friday. The video covers 11 hours with a frame taken every 20 minutes. The space agency looped the time-lapse footage and added an appropriately mystical soundtrack.
NASA estimates the clouds are moving at 14 to 22 mph (23 to 35 kph). “Time-lapse movies like this allow scientists to observe the dynamics of clouds as they develop, move over the surface and fade,” says NASA.
Cassini, a joint mission from NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency, launched in 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004 to send back observations on the ringed planet and its many moons. NASA plans to continue monitoring Titan’s weather in 2017 to better understand the satellite’s seasonal changes.