Astronomy Picture of the Day
August 29, 2013

Features of Phoebe
Features of Phoebe

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

This image-mosaic of the Saturnian Outer (and Minormoon Phoebe (a mosaic created by putting together two frames that were taken shortly after the NASA - CASSINI Spacecraft  Fly-By on June 11, 2004), gives us a magnificent close-up view of a Region near its South Pole. The view, taken about 13.000 Km (such as approx. 8.073 miles) from Phoebe, is roughly 120 Km (such as about 74,52 miles) across and shows us a Region that, as you can easily notice, possesses an extremely high density of Impact Craters.

Some brighter Material (that a few NASA's Planetary Scientists believe that should be Water Ice), has been exposed by the small Impact Craters and it also appears to "stream down" from the Slopes of the larger ones. The Outer Walls of some of the larger Impact Craters are more than 4 Km (such as about 2,484 miles) high. The image scale is roughly 80 meters (such as 262,4 feet) per pixel. Phoebe's dimensions are (approx.) 219 Km × 217 Km × 204 Km.

This image-mosaic (which is made of two Original NASA - CASSINI Spacecraft b/w frames published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 06074) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, Gamma corrected 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 Outer moon, Phoebe), 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 Phoebe, 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 Phoebe- as it is in this frame - would appear, to an average human eye, a little bit lower than it has been shown (or, better yet: interpreted) here.

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