Astronomy Picture of the Day
March 3, 2015

Senkyo Region, Polar Seas and the 'Hat' of Titan
Senkyo Region, Polar Seas and the 'Hat' of Titan

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

Named after a "Japanese Paradise", the Senkyo Region of Titan (such as the Vast and Dark Area visible below and to the right - Dx - of center of the frame) is "a bit" less welcoming (for us!) than its namesake. With a very inhospitable Average Surface Temperature of approximately - (minus) 290° Fahrenheit (such as about -178,889° Celsius), even just simple Water on Titan freezes hard enough to be essentially considered as Rock.


This view looks toward the Saturn-facing Side of Titan; North is up and rotated 33° to the right (Dx). The image was taken with the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft Narrow-Angle Camera on January 8, 2015 using a Near-InfraRed Filter which was centered at 938 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1,2 Million Miles (such as about 1,931 Million KiloMeters - or "MKM", for short) from Titan. The image scale is roughly 7 miles (approx. 11,265 Km) per pixel.


This frame (which is an Original NASA - CASSINI Spacecraft's b/w and NON Map-Projected image published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 18309) 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 (Gases) present in the Atmosphere 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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