Astronomy Picture of the Day
March 9, 2013

Crescent Rhea
Crescent 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, about four months ago, Saturn's moon Rhea during its Crescent Phase: a view, this one, which will never be visible from Earth. Near the Terminator, a few of Rhea's many Impact Craters show up their sharp and well defined outlines. With a diameter of approx. 950 miles (such as almost 1529 Km) Rhea is the Saturnian second-largest moon. This view looks toward the Leading Hemisphere of Rhea; North is up and rotated 12° to the right.

The image was taken in Visible Light with the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft Narrow-Angle Camera on November 6, 2012. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1,2 Million Miles (such as about 1,93 Million KiloMeters) from Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-Cassini Spacecraft, or Phase, Angle of 129°. Scale in the original image was roughly 7 miles (approx. 11,26 Km) per pixel but, afterwards, the picture was magnified by a factor of 1.5 in order to enhance the visibility of some Surface Features.

This picture (which is an Original NASA - Cassini Spacecraft b/w frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 14647) has been additionally processed, magnified (by applying a further 4.01 enlargement's factor) and then colorized, according to an educated guess carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga (LXTT-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 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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