Astronomy Picture of the Day
September 4, 2013

Romulus and Friends
Romulus and Friends

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

Like their semi-divine namesakes, Dione's twin Impact Craters Romulus and Remus (just above-right of the center) stand together while Dido, the larger Impact Crater showing a magnificent and impressive Central Peak, lies to the South/East, on the lower left Limb of Dione and almost half-way on top of the Terminator. The lit Terrain seen here is on the Saturn-facing Hemisphere of Dione and North is up.

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 870.000 miles (such as a little more than 1,4 Million KiloMeters) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-Cassini Spacecraft, or Phase, Angle of 77°. Image scale is roughly 5 miles (a little more than 8 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 17126) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, magnified to aid visibility of the Surface details and then colorized, according to an educated guess carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF, in what they should be its 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 Dione), 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, 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 Dione - 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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