Astronomy Picture of the Day
December 31, 2014

The North Polar Regions of Mimas
The North Polar Regions of Mimas

Credits: NASA/JPL/Arizona State University (ASU) - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/Lunar Explorer Italia/IPF

In addition to being a clear and undisputable evidence of past contless Impacts, Craters can serve another valuable scientific purpose. In fact, by counting the number of Impact Craters existing in a specific area of a given Celestial Body, Planetary Scientists can (really approximately!) estimate the age of the captioned Terrain. Older Surfaces, such as the ones on Mimas (which is approx. 246 miles - such as about 395,89 Km - across), will obviously have more Impact Craters per Unit Area than younger Surfaces.

This view looks toward the Trailing Hemisphere of Mimas; North is up and rotated to the left (Sx). The image was taken in Visible Light with the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft Narrow-Angle Camera on June 5, 2012. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 31.000 miles (such as about 49.889,54 Km) from Mimas and the image scale is roughly 982 feet (approx. 299,3136 meters) per pixel.

This frame (which is an Original NASA - CASSINI Spacecraft's b/w and NON Map-Projected image published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 18292) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, magnified to aid the visibility of the details, Gamma corrected and then colorized - according to an educated guess (or, if you wish, an informed speculation) carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga - 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 Northern Latitudes of the Saturnian moon "Mimas"), 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 other things, the existence of different Elements (Gases) present on the Surface of Mimas, 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 Mimas - 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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