Friday, August 05, 2005

New Mimas Image: Mimas showing False Colors

CICLOPS has released these two processed views of Herschel crater on Mimas. These views were taken from a distance of 228,000 km and have a resolution of 1.4 km/pixel. The view on the left is a clear filter image showing the prominent impact crater Herschel. The appearance of this crater has given Mimas the nickname "The Death Star Moon" (and if I see any more articles or forum thread titles starting with "That's no moon...", so help me...). The clear filter view shows numerous landslides within Herschel, including one on its eastern side, where a part of the crater wall has slid down on to the floor, leaving behind an alcove.

The view on the right is a color ratio image using data from the same time period as the clear filter image on the left. The brightness is the clear filter image while the color comes from a ratio of IR3 - UV3 divided by GRN. We can that there is a color difference between the area near Herschel and the rest of the satellite. This shows up in the clear filter image as a area of brighter terrain surrounded by slightly dark material. This color difference may be due to ejecta from Herschel. But the uneven distribution with respect to Herschel (more bright/"blue" material west of Herschel than north or south) may allude to a different origin. The color differences could be result of changes in composition (if ejecta, material from deeper within Mimas) or due to differences in grain size.


Blogger Bruce Moomaw said...

How about "That's no space station, it's a moon"?

8/05/2005 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

grrr, not that one either.

8/05/2005 12:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Jerry said...

I'll venture a guess on this one: 'Herschel' was an icy comet. Some of the lighter, surface elements of the comet, actually the comet's weak tail, peppered Mimas in the 'blue' region before the fatal impact.

8/09/2005 09:03:00 AM  

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