Astronomy Picture of the Day
August 30, 2015

Dione (Part III)
Dione (Part III)

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

As the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft soared above the High Northern Latitudes of the Saturnian moon Dione, the Spacecraft looked down at a Region that lies near the Day-Night Boundary (---> the so-called "Terminator Line"). This view shows the Region as a contrast-enhanced image in which the Surface Features in shadow are dimly illuminated by the Saturnshine. Even this frame (like the other two that we have shown you in the APODs of August 28 and 29, 2015) is one of the Highest-Resolution Views ever obtained of the Saturnian moon's Icy Surface.

The Terrain seen here is found just to the East of an Impact Crater named Butes, and it is also close to an Unnamed Tectonic Structure located around 65° North Latitude and 25° West Longitude. This frame comes from the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft's Wide-Angle Camera (or "WAC", for short).

The picture was taken near the time when the the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft had its closest approach to Dione, and always during the Fly-By which took place on August, 17, 2015; the picture was acquired in Visible Light from an altitude of about 365 miles (such as approx. 587,4091 Km) above Dione, and the image scale is roughly 115 feet (such as approx. 35,052 meters) per pixel (---> picture element).

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 19654) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, magnified, in order to allow the vision of the slightest details of the Surface, Gamma corrected and then re-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, toward the Saturnian moon "Dione"), 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) present on the Surface of Dione, 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 Dione - 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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