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These two views are the closest Cassini images of Tethys' icy surface that were taken during the September 24, 2005 flyby.
The first image is a clear filter view and is the highest resolution image acquired by Cassini during the encounter. The two large craters at right show evidence that landslides have modified their outlines and covered their floors with large quantities of debris. Linear depressions cutting across the terrain probably mark the surface expressions of faults or fractures.
The second view, a false color image created by compositing infrared, green and ultraviolet frames, reveals a wide variety of surface colors across this terrain. The presence of this variety at such small scales may indicate a mixture of different surface materials. Tethys was previously known to have color differences on its surface, especially on its trailing side, but this kind of color diversity is new to imaging scientists.
This view is centered on terrain at approximately 4.2 degrees south latitude and 357 degrees west longitude on Tethys. The images have been rotated so that north on Tethys is up.
The views were obtained using the narrow angle camera at distances ranging from approximately 18,400 to 19,000 kilometers (11,400 to 11,800 miles) from Tethys and at a Sun-Tethys-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 17 degrees. Image scale in the clear filter view is 110 meters (360 feet) per pixel; image scale in the false-color view is 213 meters (700 feet) per pixel.
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 imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.