Astronomy Picture of the Day
November 8, 2013

Legends in the Twilights...
Legends in the Twilights...

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

The Craters which we can see all over the Surface of the Saturnian moon Tethys, tell us of a violent Cosmic (and, most likely, Geologic) History which charaterized this Celestial Body; an history marked by (most likely) a countless number of Impacts. The names of the Main Impact  Craters of Tethys also tell us something about "violent" stories: in this case, specifically, they tell us about the Iliad and the Odyssey. Here, we see the Impact Crater Melanthius (near the center, right on the Terminator Line), Dolius (which is above Melanthius), and Penelope (visible to the upper left, almost over the Limb of Tethys). Penelope was the faithful and wise wife of the Greek Hero Odysseus; Dolius was their loyal gardener, and Melanthius was Dolius' son.

This view looks toward the Leading Hemispere of Tethys; North is up and rotated 32° to the right. The image was taken in Visible Light with the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft Narrow-Angle Camera on May 16, 2013. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 684.000 miles (such as about a little more than 1,1 Million KiloMeters) from Tethys and at a Sun-Tethys-Cassini Spacecraft (or "Phase") Angle of 63°. The image scale is roughly 4 miles (such as about 6,43 Km) per pixel.

This picture (which is an Original NASA - Cassini Spacecraft b/w frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 17138) has been additionally processed, magnified to aid the visibility of the details, Gamma corrected and then colorized, according to an informed speculation carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga (LXTT-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 moon Tethys), 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 Tehys, each having a different Albedo (---> Reflectivity) and Chemical Composition.

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