Cassini data yields super sharp infrared images of Titan

NASA показало как выглядит Титан без атмосферы

Because the VIMS dataset includes observations collected during different flybys under a variety of light conditions, previous maps of Titan featured visible seams between different regions. Well, these aren't photos that Cassini snapped as it cruised by - we'd likely have seen them months or even years ago if that were the case - but are actually massive composites of over a decade's worth of mapping data captured by the spacecraft's powerful imaging tools.

This is primarily because small particles called aerosols in Titan's upper atmosphere strongly scatter visible light.

Still, making mosaics of these images remains a challenge, as data was collected over various flybys under different conditions, creating what NASA described as "very prominent seams ... that are quite hard for imaging scientists to remove".

'But Titan's surface can be more readily imaged in a few infrared "windows" - infrared wavelengths where scattering and absorption is much weaker.

NASA показало как выглядит Титан без атмосферы
Saturn’s Moon Titan: New Pictures of the “Alien Earth”

The second image here with the clear shots of Titan around the yellow hazy center show the VIMS infrared images compared to the hazy center image of Titan taken in visible light. Like a massive, multi-layered puzzle, the data used to create these images was gathered at different times and the moon was imaged under different conditions, allowing for the most accurate view of Titan as possible. One result is that very prominent seams appear in the mosaics that are quite hard for imaging scientists to remove.

"Due to detailed data analysis and painstaking processing of images manually, our specialists managed to make the "seams" nearly invisible", they say in NASA. This is an update to the work previously discussed in PIA20022.

For the full visual effect of the space Agency, supplemented by infrared images with images in other color spectra. The color-altering approach helps minimize the visibility of the seams while highlighting the spectral variations in the composition of Titan's surface.

For a map of Titan with latitudes, longitudes and labeled surface features, see PIA20713. The VIMS instrument has paved the way for future infrared instruments that could image Titan at much higher resolution, revealing features that were not detectable by any of Cassini's instruments.

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