Astronomy Picture of the Day
May 14, 2013

So close, and yet so far...
So close, and yet so far...

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

The Saturnian moon Mimas peeps out from behind the larger moon Dione in this suggestive view of a so-called "Mutual Event" as it was seen from and recorded by the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft. Mimas (which is approx. 246 miles - such as a little less than 396 Km - across) is near the bottom center of the image. This view looks toward the anti-Saturn side of Dione (which is about 698 miles - such as approx 1123,3 Km - across). North on Dione is up and rotated 20° to the right.

The image was taken in Visible Light with the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft Narrow-Angle Camera on December 12, 2011, at a distance of approximately 377.000 miles (such as about 606.721 Km) from Mimas and approximately 56.000 miles (such as a little more than 90.000 Km) from Dione, at a Sun-Dione-Cassini Spacecraft , or Phase, Angle of 42°. Image scale is 1773 feet (such as about 540,41 meters) per pixel on Dione.

This frame (which is a crop from an Original NASA - Cassini Spacecraft b/w image published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 14619) has been additionally processed 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 Saturnian moons Dione and Mimas), 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 Dione and Mimas, each having a different Albedo (---> Reflectivity) and Chemical Composition.

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