Astronomy Picture of the Day
May 15, 2013

Together again...
Together again...

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

The smaller Saturnian moon Mimas upstages the larger moon Dione as the dramatic Herschel Crater is spotlighted on Mimas in this NASA - Cassini Spacecraft view. Herschel Crater is about 130 Km (such as approx. 80,83 miles - wide and covers a significant part of Mimas (which is approx. 396 Km, or 245,91 miles, across) at the top of this picture. Smaller Impact Craters are visible on Dione (about 1123 Km, or 697,38, miles across) in the lower portion of the image. Because of the particular viewing geometry here, the Sunlight illuminates the Leading Hemisphere of Mimas on the left (Sx), while the light reflected off Saturn dimly lights the Saturn-facing side of Mimas on the right (Dx). The lit Terrain visible on the left of Dione is located on the anti-Saturn side of that moon.

The image was taken in Visible Red Light with the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft Narrow-Angle Camera on March 23, 2010. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1,6 Million KiloMeters (such as about 993.600 miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-Cassini Spacecraft, or Phase, Angle of 87° and at a distance of approximately 1,2 Million KiloMeters (such as about 745.200 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-Cassini Spacecraft, at the same Phase Angle of  Mimas. Image scale is roughly 10 Km (about 6,21 miles) per pixel on Mimas and about 7 Km (such as approx. 4,34 miles) per pixel on Dione.

This frame (which is an Original NASA - Cassini Spacecraft b/w image published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 12679) 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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