Astronomy Picture of the Day
February 17, 2013

The Old Face of Rhea...
The Old Face of Rhea...

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

The NASA - Cassini Spacecraft captured this High-Resolution view of the Ancient and heavily Cratered Surface of the Saturnian moon Rhea (which is about 1530 Km - such as approx. 950 miles - across), when the Spacecraft flew by this Celestial Body on October 17, 2010. This view is centered on Terrain located at approx. 60° North Latitude and 251° West Longitude and the Region of Rhea that has been photographed here, lies right on the Terminator Line (---> the Line dividing the Day from the Night): a circumstance, this one, that makes all the visible reliefs (such as countless Impact Craters and Scarps), as well as their shadows, look sharper and more impressive.

The image was taken in Visible Light with the Cassini Spacecraft's Narrow-Angle Camera. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 40.000 Km (such as about 24.840 miles) from the Surface of Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-Cassini Spacecraft, or Phase, Angle of 88°. Image scale is 238 meters (781 feet) per pixel.

This frame (which is an Original NASA - Cassini Spacecraft image published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 12746) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, and then colorized 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 Surface and Limb of the Saturnian moon Rhea), 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 others, the existence of different Elements present on the Surface of Rhea, each having a different Albedo (---> Reflectivity) and Chemical Composition.

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