Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cassini Shows Grandeur Of Two Saturn Moons

Date:
November 25, 2004
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
New views of two of Saturn's moons, Titan and Tethys, represent the most detailed look at these moons to date and show a sharp contrast between them -- one is foggy and one is cratered.

A mosaic of nine processed images recently acquired during Cassini's first very close flyby of Saturn's moon Titan on Oct. 26, 2004, constitutes the most detailed full-disc view of the mysterious moon.
Credit: Image courtesy NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

New views of two of Saturn's moons, Titan and Tethys, represent the most detailed look at these moons to date and show a sharp contrast between them -- one is foggy and one is cratered.

Related Articles


The Cassini spacecraft captured the puzzle pieces for the full-disc view of the mysterious Titan during its first close encounter on Oct. 26, 2004. The mosaic comprises nine images taken at distances ranging from 650,000 kilometers (400,000 miles) to 300,000 kilometers (200,000 miles).

The pictures are available at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov, http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://ciclops.org.

The images that make up the mosaic were processed to reduce effects of the atmosphere and to sharpen surface features. The mosaic of images has been trimmed to show only the illuminated surface and not the atmosphere around the edge of the moon. The Sun was behind Cassini, so nearly the full disc was illuminated. South polar clouds are seen at the bottom.

Surface features are best seen near the center of the moon. The surface features become fuzzier toward the outside of the image, where the spacecraft is peering through more haze. The brighter region on the right side near the equator is named Xanadu Regio. Scientists are debating what processes may have created the bizarre surface brightness patterns seen there. Titan's lack of obvious craters is a hint of a young surface. However, the exact nature of that activity, whether tectonic, wind-blown, river-related, marine or volcanic, is still unknown.

Two days after the close encounter with icy Titan, Cassini captured the images used in the mosaic of the battered and cratered moon Tethys. The result is the best-ever natural color view of Titan.

As seen here, the surface of Tethys has a neutral hue. Three images form this natural color composite. The mosaic reveals a world nearly saturated with craters -- many small craters lie on top of older, larger ones, suggesting an ancient surface. Grooves can be seen at the top and along the boundary between day and night.

Tethys is known to have a density very close to that of water, indicating that it is likely composed mainly of water ice. Its frozen mysteries await Cassini's planned close flyby in September 2005.

The images to create this mosaic were taken on Oct. 28, 2004, at a distance of about 256,000 kilometers (159,000 miles) from Tethys. This view shows the trailing hemisphere of Tethys, which is the side opposite the moon's direction of motion in its orbit.

Both images were taken with the narrow angle camera onboard the Cassini spacecraft. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Cassini Shows Grandeur Of Two Saturn Moons." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 November 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041124155910.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2004, November 25). Cassini Shows Grandeur Of Two Saturn Moons. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041124155910.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Cassini Shows Grandeur Of Two Saturn Moons." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041124155910.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What NASA Wants To Learn From Its 'Year In Space' Tests

What NASA Wants To Learn From Its 'Year In Space' Tests

Newsy (Mar. 28, 2015) Astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will spend a year in space running tests on human physiology and psychology. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crew Starts One-Year Space Mission

Crew Starts One-Year Space Mission

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 28, 2015) Russian-U.S. crew arrives safely at the International Space Station for the start of a ground-breaking year-long stay. Paul Chapman reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why So Many People Think NASA's Asteroid Mission Is A Waste

Why So Many People Think NASA's Asteroid Mission Is A Waste

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) The Asteroid Retrieval Mission announced this week bears little resemblance to its grand beginnings. Even NASA scientists are asking, "Why bother?" Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Station Crew Docks Safely

Space Station Crew Docks Safely

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) NASA TV footage shows the successful docking of a Russian Soyuz craft to the International Space Station for a year-long mission. Rough cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins