Search Results for tethys

The “Front” Side of Tethys

Color-composite image of Tethys from Feb. 1, 2017 (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/J. Major)

Color-composite image of Tethys from Feb. 1, 2017 (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/J. Major)

This is a color image of Saturn’s moon Tethys I made from raw images acquired by Cassini on Feb. 1, 2017 in visible-light color channels. It shows the moon’s sunlit leading side—the face that aims in the direction that it moves in its orbit around Saturn. (Click image for a larger version.)

While this icy moon is mostly monochromatic—appearing quite grey even in a color image—there are some subtle variations over large parts of its surface. Here you can just make out a slightly darker bluish band that runs across Tethys’ equatorial region. This is the result of surface weathering by high-energy electrons within Tethys’ orbit. The pale pinker regions to the north and south of the band are thought to be a coating of small ice particles that have been expelled from nearby Enceladus.

Also visible along the terminator is part of the 1,200-mile long, 60-mile-wide Ithaca Chasma, an enormous and ancient canyon system that runs almost all the way from Tethys’ north to south poles.

Tethys is 662 miles (1,065 km) in diameter and composed mostly of water ice and rock. It orbits Saturn at a distance of 183,000 miles (295,000 km) and takes 45.3 hours to complete one orbit. Read more about Tethys here.


Soar Over the Surface of Tethys with Cassini

Animation of Tethys' surface made from raw Cassini images acquired Nov. 11, 2015. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI. Animation by J. Major.)

Animation of Tethys’ surface made from raw Cassini images acquired Nov. 11, 2015. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI. Animation by J. Major.)

On Nov. 11, 2015, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft passed relatively closely by Saturn’s moon Tethys, one of the ringed planet’s larger icy satellites. The animation above was made from 29 raw images acquired with Cassini’s narrow-angle camera as it passed by; you can see part of the incredibly cratered and ancient surface of this 662 mile (1,065 km) wide moon. Talk about flyover country!

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A Profile Portrait of Tethys

Tethys imaged by Cassini on May 9, 2015.

Tethys imaged by Cassini on May 9, 2015.

Here’s a beautiful view of Saturn’s moon Tethys (pronounced TEE-this) captured by the Cassini spacecraft’s narrow-angle camera on May 9, 2015. The moon’s 250-mile Odysseus crater can be seen along the right limb there, illuminated by sunlight, while the left side is lit by the dimmer reflected light from Saturn.

Tethys itself is 662 miles (1,065 km) in diameter and composed mostly of water ice and rock. Along with its bigger sisters Dione and Rhea it is one of the most heavily-cratered worlds in the Solar System.

Cassini also captured images of Dione and its signature icy “wispy lines” on the same day. Check one of those out below.

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A Little Pas de Deux: Tethys and Dione

Saturn's moons Tethys and Dione pass each other from Cassini's point of view. (CLICK TO PLAY)

Saturn’s moon Tethys, its giant Odysseus crater in plain view, passes in front of of the slightly darker Dione in this animation made from several raw images acquired by Cassini earlier this month. Pretty cool!

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Tethys and Saturn



660-mile-wide Tethys orbits in front of Saturn and the rings in this image from Cassini, taken on March 8, 2011. The rings cast their shadows onto the Saturn’s southern equatorial cloudtops as the planet continues moving into its summer season.

The 155-mile-wide Melanthius Crater can be seen near Tethys’ south pole.

A smaller moon can also be seen near the rings, perhaps Enceladus? Not quite sure on that one, it’s a bit too small to make out. 🙂

This was originally a monochrome raw image…I colored it using the RGB composite results from this image upload to give Saturn its slight hue.

Image: NASA / JPL / SSI. Edited by J. Major.


Dione and Tethys in Passing

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Two of Saturn’s moons pass each other from Cassini’s perspective on December 6, 2010, in this animation compiled from 70 raw image files.

This was more an experiment in using iMovie HD to create an animation from a lot of individual images than anything else…I didn’t take the time to clean up the specks and streaks on each image, or align each frame to the next. It jumps about a bit more then I’d like, but at least I have another way of making animations now.

If you watch closely in 720p, you can make out the moons rotating, especially Tethys in the background. Keep an eye on Odysseus Crater as it edges closer to the terminator line…pretty cool! 🙂

Images: NASA / JPL / Space Science Institute. Animation by J. Major.

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