Astronomy Picture of the Day
March 26, 2013

Signs of Time
Signs of Time

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

The Surface of the Saturnian moon Rhea shows the clearest signs of its "violent" ancient history and, in fact, each Impact Crater seen here records an impact which occurred in the moon's far distant past. On some Regions of Rhea, the Impact Craters are so densely packed that they lie, litterally, on top of each other, with the newer impacts which have often erased the signs left by the older ones. Long and steep Fractures of the Surface can also clearly bee seen near and on the Terminator Line. As a matter of fact, if you just think about it, even a simple walk (or maybe a drive that is carried out by using some sort of vehicle with wheels - maybe a more modern and safe version of the famous Lunar Rover) on such a devastated Land might result as extremely difficult; perhaps impossible. Of course for now. But in a Future, who knows...

Rhea is approx. 949 miles (such as about 1528,8 Km) across and this view is centered on Terrain located at 38° North Latitude and 290° West Longitude. The image was taken in Visible Light, with the NASA - CASSINI Spacecraft Narrow-Angle Camera on December 22, 2012. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 19.000 miles (such as a little more than 30.577 Km) from Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-Cassini Spacecraft, or Phase, Angle of 30°. Image scale is 600 feet (such as 182,88 meters) 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 14654) has been additionally processed and then colorized, according to an educated guess 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, 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 other things, the existence of different Elements (Minerals) present on the Surface of Rhea, each having a different Albedo (---> Reflectivity) and Chemical Composition.

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