CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Transition on Tethys

Transition on Tethys
PIA 08284

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  An extreme false-color view of Tethys reveals a surface detail not visible in a monochrome view taken at the same time.

The false-color view shows a color transition from the moon's Saturn-facing side (at left) to a region on its trailing side (at bottom).

Near the top of the images, the central-peaked crater Telemachus lies in the deeply grooved terrain that marks the northern reaches of Ithaca Chasma.

To create the false-color view, ultraviolet, green and infrared images were combined into a single picture that isolates and maps regional color differences. This "color map" was then superposed over a clear-filter image that preserves the relative brightness across the body.

The combination of color map and brightness image shows how colors vary across Tethys' surface. The origin of the color differences is not yet understood, but may be caused by subtle differences in the surface composition or the sizes of grains making up the icy surface material.

The monochrome image was taken using a clear filter.

North on Tethys (1,062 kilometers, 660 miles across) is up and rotated 36 degrees to the right.

The images used to create this view were acquired using the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 9, 2006 at a distance of approximately 221,000 kilometers (137,000 miles) from Tethys and at a Sun-Tethys-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 52 degrees. Image scale is 1 kilometer (4,332 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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: October 10, 2006 (PIA 08284)
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