Watch clouds stream across Saturn's moon Titan

It's summertime on Titan. NASA catches sight of whimsical cloud formations streaming across the moon.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

I see a dragon. I see a ferret. Saturn's largest moon, Titan, is home to some exotic cloud formations reminiscent of what we have on Earth. 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.

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