Astronomy Picture of the Day
February 21, 2014

Wispy Terrain (CTX Frame)
Wispy Terrain (CTX Frame)

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

This really well detailed image taken by the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft during its closest approach to the Saturnian moon Dione, which occurred more than nine years ago (such as on December, 14, 2004), is centered on the so-called "Wispy" (---> thin) Terrain of the moon. To the surprise of the Cassini Imaging Scientists, the aforementioned Wispy Terrain does not (seem to) consist of thick Ice Deposits but, rather, of extremely bright Ice Cliffs, most likely created, in a very remote time (but, Geologically speaking, they appear quite recent!), by the action of powerful Tectonic Processes (---> Surface Fracturing).

One "curiosity" (as usual): in this picture, we, as IPF, noted a very unusually-looking Feature on the Surface of Dione, and said Feature shall be the subject of tomorrow's Extra Detail Magnification (EDM). In the meanwhile, why don'y you try to find it yourselves?... If you want to write and let us know where and what you think such a Feature, respectively, is and might represent, please use the following E-mail address:

This image (which is a crop taken from an Original NASA - Cassini Spacecraft b/w frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 06163) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, magnified to aid visibility of the Surface details 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 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, way lower than it has been shown (or, better yet: interpreted) here.

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