Astronomy Picture of the Day
September 5, 2013

Approaching Titania
Approaching Titania

Credits: NASA/JPL - Voyager 2 Project - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF

The Terminator Region of Titania, one of Uranus' five large moons, was captured in this NASA - Voyager 2 Spacecrarft  image that was taken in the early morning hours of January 24, 1986. When this picture was obtained, the NASA - Voyager 2 Spacecraft was about 500.000 Km (such as a little mora then 310.000 miles) from Titania and inbound toward its closest approach with the moon. This Clear-Filter, Narrow-Angle View is along the Terminator - such as the line between the sunlit and the darkened Regions of the moon. The low-angle illumination shows the shape of the Surface of Titania very clearly and, among the Surface Features visible here, we can see a few long Linear Valleys perhaps - 50 to 100 Km (such as 31,5 to about 262,1 miles) wide, as well as several hundred Km long. At least two directions of Faulting are also well visible, and so are many Circular Craters whose origin was attributed to Impacts with "clouds" of Cosmic Debris. The resolution of this image is about 9 Km (such as approx. 5,589 miles) per pixel. Note that the White Material that is visible here and there on Titania and, in particular, in the area near the Terminator Line, could reasonably be exposed Layers of Water-Ice.


This frame (which is an Original NASA - Voyager 2 Spacecraft b/w frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 01978) 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 - Voyager 2 Spacecraft and then looked outside, towards the Uranian moon Titania), 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 Titania, 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 Titania - 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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