Astronomy Picture of the Day
February 17, 2015

Channels, Islands and Shoreline of Ligeia Mare
Channels, Islands and Shoreline of Ligeia Mare

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/Space Science Institute - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF

The highly suggestive view that we present you today, is a mosaic made out of several Radio-Images taken by the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft's Synthetic Aperture Radar (or "SAR", for short) that swaths (---> watches/looks a large area) over Ligeia Mare: one of the largest Hydrocarbons Seas recently discovered on the Saturnian moon Titan. In particular, the so-called "Despeckling" Technique - please refer to yesterday's APOD for more information about it - improves, in this case, the visibility of many Channels flowing down to the Sea.


This frame (which is an Original NASA - CASSINI Spacecraft's b/w image-mosaic published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 19052) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, magnified to aid the visibility of the details, Gamma corrected and then colorized - according to an educated guess (or, if you wish, an informed speculation) carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga - in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a human eye would actually perceive if someone were onboard the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft and then looked outside, towards the Saturnian moon "Titan"), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team. Different colors, as well as different shades of the same color, mean, among other things, the existence of different Elements (---> Minerals and so forth) which are present on the Surface of Titan, each having a different Albedo (---> Reflectivity) and Chemical Composition.


Note: it is possible (but we, as IPF, have no way to be one-hundred-percent sure of such a circumstance), that the actual luminosity of Titan - as it is in this frame - would appear, to an average human eye, a little bit lower than it has been shown (or, better yet: interpreted) here.



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