Astronomy Picture of the Day
April 13, 2013

Senkyo Region
Senkyo Region

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's "Electronic Eyes" peer through Titan's thick layers of Clouds to spy on the Region dubbed "Senkyo" by Planetary Scientists. Among the Dark Surface Features visible in this picture there is also a very vast Field of Dunes, possibly composed of solid Hydrocarbon Particles precipitated out of the Titanian Atmosphere; furthermore, the South Pole of Titan is, as you can see, still shrouded in the huge Vortex that formed only a few months ago (and whose origin is still debated). The lit Terrain seen here is located on the Saturn-facing Hemisphere of Titan; North is up and rotated 18° to the right.


This image was taken with the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft's Narrow-Angle Camera on January 5, 2013, by using a spectral filter sensitive to Wavelengths of Near-InfraRed Light centered at 938 Nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 750.000 miles (such as a little more than 1,2 Million KiloMeters) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-Cassini Spacecraft , or Phase, Angle of 79°. Image scale is roughly 4 miles (such as about 6,43 Km) per pixel.


This picture (which is an Original NASA - Cassini Spacecraft b/w frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal and identified by the n. PIA 14655) has been additionally processed 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 Titan), 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 in the Atmosphere of Titan, 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 the Clouds and Hazes (as well as the luminosity of Titan itself) seen in this frame would appear, to an average human eye, way lower than it has been shown (or, better yet: interpreted) here.



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