Astronomy Picture of the Day
July 29, 2014

Tethys in broad Daylight
Tethys in broad Daylight

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

Surrounded by the deep darkness that fill the Circum-Saturnian Space, Tethys, just like many other moons (as well as other Minor Celestial Bodies) of the Solar System in general, and of the Saturnian System in particular, always keeps one face pointed towards the Planet (so-called "Parent Planet") around which it orbits (a phenomenon, this one, that is commonly known as Tidal Locking, or even Captured Rotation). Tethys' Anti-Saturn Face is seen here, fully illuminated, basking in Sunlight. On the right (Dx) side of the moon is the huge Impact Crater Odysseus. The Odysseus Crater is approx. 280 miles (such as about 450,61 Km) across, while Tethys itself is about 660 miles (such as approx. 1.062,16 Km) across.

This view looks toward the Anti-Saturn Side of Tethys; North is up and rotated 33° to the right (Dx). The image was taken in Visible Light with the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft Narrow-Angle Camera on June 15, 2013. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 503.000 miles (such as a little more than 809.498 Km) from Tethys. The image scale is roughly 3 miles (about 4,82 Km) 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 18275) 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 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 other things, the existence of different Elements (Minerals) present on the Surface of Tethys, 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 Tethys - 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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