I’ve been playing around with making color versions of images from the Cassini raw image downloads, now that I know what to look for it’s relatively easy to put together a somewhat “natural color” version of the sights around the Saturn system. (The image above was a little trickier, I had to take Dione out and composite it separately from Titan, and then put the smaller moon back in position afterwards because they were moving relative to each other while Cassini was taking the various color filter images. I think the result came out all right though.) Anyway, here’s some of the images I’ve been working on. Some are larger sized than others depending on how Cassini’s raw data came in.
I just really like seeing these images in color…even a “grey” moon gains so much dimension seeing it in RGB.
I have to thank Emily at The Planetary Society for the step-by-step on how to do this in Photoshop!
Image credits: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute/J. Major
UPDATE 10-9-10: Holy smokes. There seems to be some sort of recent conspiracy theory surrounding a similar version of the top image here (seen on The Planetary Society’s blog here.) It’s even made it as far as the high temple of right-wing American foolishness, Fox News. As one who edits photos on a daily basis, I have to stand by Emily Lakdawalla and the rest of the scientific world here in saying that there were no alien bases, starships, monoliths or anything of that nature in the original spectral raw data images from Cassini, and the only reason anything was “Photoshopped” was to make a more-or-less true color image to show everyone and hopefully get them a little more excited about the view of two amazing worlds in our solar system. To read any further into a process that’s as common these days as checking e-mail is ludicrous and purely inflammatory.