Global maps of six moons of Saturn captured by NASA

Global maps of six moons of Saturn captured by NASA

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NASA has been studying the moons of Saturn intensely over the past decade and now they have released images of global maps of six of the them. The global maps represent the completion of one of the key mission objectives of the legendary spacecraft, Cassini-Huygens.

[Image Source: NASA]

Saturn and its moons were previously given a quick visit by the twin Voyager spacecraft during the early 80s and we saw low resolution maps of some of the bodies orbiting. However, Saturn and her moons were not the main concern at that time but the Voyager left people wanting to see much more.

[Image Source: NASA]

Cassini-Huygens has now given them more and just the last 10 years found new moons along with providing a better and clearer insight into how the rings of Saturn are formed and have provided a host of valuable information. Data collected by Cassini has been used in the creation of the maps which show stunning details of Mimas, Enceladus, Dione, Tethys, Rhea and Lapetus, in colour.

[Image Source: NASA]

NASA have been able to create maps that have been able to include spectra of light beyond what the eye of the human is capable to see and which encroaches on ultraviolet light wavelengths and infrared. You can see very subtle changes in the moons colour more than with a natural light image.

[Image Source: NASA]

There are some features on the maps that are very interesting. The trailing hemispheres of Reah, Dione and Tethys are a dark red and this is down to Saturn’s magnetosphere causing an alteration which involves charged radiation and particles.

[Image Source: NASA]