Astronomy Picture of the Day
April 11, 2014

Titania's Terminator
Titania's Terminator

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 (---> Majormoons, was captured in this NASA - Voyager 2 Spacecraft's image obtained in the early morning hours of January 24, 1986. When this frame was taken, the NASA - Voyager 2 Spacecraft was about 500.000 Km (such as approx. 310.500 miles) from Titania and inbound toward Closest Approach.


This Clear-Filter, Narrow-Angle View of Titania, as you can see, goes along its Terminator Line (such as the line between the Sunlit and the Darkened portion of the moon - or, if you prefer, the Line dividing the Dayside from the Nightside of any given Celestial Body). The Low Illumination's Angle allows us to see very clearly the actual shape of a (relatively thin) portion of Titania's Surface and, among the Surface Features which are well visible here, there are long Linear Valleys, perhaps approx. 50 to 100 Km wide (such as whose width goes from about 31,05 to 62,1 miles), and several hundreds of kilometersw long. At least two directions of Faulting are also clearly visible, as well as many old (and almost) Circular Craters, caused by impacts between Titania and a variety of Cosmic Debris possessing very different sizes. The Ground-Resolution of this image is about 9 Km (such as approx. 5,589 miles) per pixel.


This picture (which is an Original NASA - Voyager 2 Spacecraft b/w image 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 in 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, way lower than it has been shown (or, better yet: interpreted) here.



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