Astronomy Picture of the Day
December 19, 2012


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

This view - obtained by the NASA - CASSINI Spacecraft - shows us a few interesting Surface Features (mostly old Impact Craters and Mountains) as well as fine color variations that are found on the Trojan Saturnian moon Telesto. The smooth Surface of this moon suggests that, like Pandora, even Telesto is covered by a mantle of fine, dust-sized Icy Material. The origin of the color differences is not yet understood, but it may reasonably be caused by extremely subtle variations in the Mineralogical Composition of its Surface, or by the (extremely small) size of the Dusty Grains which make up the Icy Soil. Tiny Telesto is a Celestial Body that is approx. 24 Km (such as about 15 miles) wide only.

The image was acquired with the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft Narrow-Angle Camera on December, 25th, 2005 at a distance of approximately 20.000 Km (such as about 12.000 miles) from Telesto and at a Sun-Telesto-CASSINI Spacecraft, or Phase, Angle of 58°. Image scale is 118 meters (387 feet) per pixel.

This picture (which is an Original NASA - CASSINI Spacecraft b/w frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 07696) has been additionally processed and then colorized, according to an informed speculation carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga (LXXT/IPF), 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, Telesto), 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 Telesto, each having a different Albedo (---> Reflectivity) and Chemical Composition.

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