Cassini Sends Back Beautiful Global Maps of Saturn's Moons

Thursday, 11 December 2014 - 4:26PM
NASA
Astronomy
Space Imagery
Thursday, 11 December 2014 - 4:26PM
Cassini Sends Back Beautiful Global Maps of Saturn's Moons

Cassini has spent ten years collecting data and images in an effort to comprehensively map Saturn's six major icy moons, and the newest global maps of the moons show that the mission is almost complete. Four of the moons are completely finished, while one small gap on Enceladus will be filled in next year and a few areas on Iapetus remain dark.

 

The new maps are most accurate color maps of the moons to date, and the first to show natural brightness variations. The colors on the maps visually represent spectra that go beyond human vision, such as infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths. The stunning results look something like rain falling on the surface of a lake:

 

Dione: 

Cassini

[Credit: NASA]

 

Enceladus, whose unique geysers may be able to support life

Cassini

[Credit: NASA]

 

Mimas, who may have an underground ocean capable of sustaining life:

Cassini

[Credit: NASA]

 

Iapetus:

Cassini

[Credit: NASA]

 

Rhea:

Cassini

[Credit: NASA]

 

Tethys:

Cassini

[Credit: NASA]

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Space
NASA
Astronomy
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