Astronomy Picture of the Day
July 3, 2013

From far away...
From far away...

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

In today's APOD, we can see that the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft has recently caught a glimpse of Janus: an irregularly-shaped Minor Saturnian moon. Lacking sufficient gravity to pull itself into a round shape, Janus (which is approx. 111 miles - such as about 178,63 - across) has had its lumpy primordial shape only slightly modified by impacts since its formation. A huge Impact Crater can be seen on the upper left corner of the illuminated side of Janus, jointly with other barely visible Surface Details. Furthermore, if you look carefully (after bringing the image to its full size), a few more Surface Details that are found of that part of Janus that lies in the shadows, beyond the Terminator Line, can be (even though just barely) seen, jointly with the outline of the moon.


This view looks toward the Trailing Hemisphere of Janus. North on Janus is up and rotated 44° degrees to the left. The image was taken in Visible Light with the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft Narrow-Angle Camera on April 28, 2013; the view was obtained at a distance of approximately 780.000 miles (such as about 1.255.285 Million KiloMeters) from Janus and at a Sun-Janus-Cassini Spacecraft (or Phase), Angle of 77°. The mage scale is roughly 5 miles (such as 8,04 Km) per pixel.


This frame (which is an Original NASA - Cassini Spacecraft b/w frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 14667) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, magnified 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 moon Janus), 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 Janus, each having a different Albedo (---> Reflectivity) and Chemical Composition.



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