Astronomy Picture of the Day
March 12, 2014

Rhea in the Sunshine
Rhea in the Sunshine

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

A nearly full Rhea shines in the Sunlight in this relatively recent NASA - Cassini Spacecraft's image. Rhea (approx. 950 miles - such as about 1.528,8 Km - across) is Saturn's second largest moon. The lit Terrain seen here is on the Saturn-facing Hemisphere of Rhea; North is up and rotated 43° to the left.

The image was taken in Visible Light with the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft's Narrow-Angle Camera on September 10, 2013. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 990.000 miles (such as about 1.593.246 Km) from Rhea and the image scale is roughly 6 miles (such s approx. 9,65 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 17155) 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 Rhea), 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 Rhea, 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 Rhea- 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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