CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Cassini Images the Moon
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About 1 hour and 20 minutes before its closest approach to Earth at 3 hrs 28 minutes UTC on August 18, 1999, Cassini made its closest approach to the Moon from a distance of ~ 377,000 km. For a period of about 15 minutes surrounding this time, the Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) acquired a series of both narrow and wide angle images of the Moon for the purposes of calibrating the spectral and polarimetric response of the cameras and testing their various imaging modes in flight on a familiar and well-studied target. The exposure times range from 5 msec to 2 seconds, and spectral filters ranging from the ultraviolet to the near-IR part of the electromagnetic spectrum were used in this sequence. The spatial scale was 2.3 km/pixel in the narrow angle camera, and 23 km/pixel in the wide. The best of these images are shown and described below. Some have been combined into brief movie sequences. All of them have been processed to remove instrumental artifacts and the effects of cosmic ray hits on the CCD. They illustrate that the Cassini ISS cameras are functioning beautifully and promise a bonanza of imaging delights at Jupiter in late 2000 and at Saturn beginning in the year 2004.

The face of the Moon seen in these images is nearly identical to that seen from Earth.





Cassini Images the Moon
Avg Rating: 7.76/10

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  This brief movie illustrates the passage of the Moon through the ISS wide angle camera field of view as the Cassini spacecraft flew by the Moon, on the way to its closest approach with Earth. From beginning to end of the sequence, 25 wide angle images (with a spatial image scale of ~ 23 km/pixel) were taken over the course of seven and a half minutes through a series of narrow and broadband spectral filters and polarizers, ranging from the violet to the near-infrared regions of the spectrum, for the purposes of calibrating the spectral response of the wide angle camera. The exposure times range from 5 msec to 1.5 seconds. Two of the exposures were smeared and have been discarded and replaced with nearby images to make a smooth movie sequence. All images were scaled so that the brightness of Crisium basin, the dark circular region in the upper right, is approximately the same in every image.


Credit: Cassini Imaging Team/University of Arizona/JPL/NASA.
Released: September 1, 1999
Image/Caption Information



This brief 3-frame movie was made from 3 narrow angle ISS images. The purpose of this particular set of images was to calibrate the spectral response of the narrow angle camera and to test its on-chip summing mode in flight. From left to right, they show the Moon in the green, blue and ultraviolet regions of the spectrum in 40 msec, 60 msec, and 80 msec exposures, respectively. All three images have been scaled so that the brightness of Crisium basin, the dark circular region in the upper right, is the same in each image. The spatial scale in the blue and ultraviolet images is 2.3 km/pixel. The original scale in the green image (which was captured on the CCD in the usual manner and then reduced in size by 2x2 pixel summing within the camera system) was 4.6 km/pixel. It has been enlarged for display to the same scale as the other two through bicubic interpolation.


Credit: Cassini Imaging Team/University of Arizona/JPL/NASA.
Released: September 1, 1999
Image/Caption Information
  Cassini Images the Moon
Avg Rating: 8.16/10

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Cassini Images the Moon
Avg Rating: 8.59/10

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  This narrow angle ISS image is one of the best of a sequence of narrow angle frames taken of the Moon. The 80 msec exposure (which is one of the frames in the narrow angle movie above) was taken through a spectral filter centered at 0.45 microns; the filter bandpass was 100 angstroms wide. The spatial scale of the image is ~ 2.3 km/pixel.


Credit: Cassini Imaging Team/University of Arizona/JPL/NASA.
Released: September 1, 1999
Image/Caption Information



This composite image was made from 3 narrow angle ISS images which captured a signficant portion of the Moon during the Moon flyby imaging sequence and which comprise the narrow angle movie above. From left to right, they show the Moon in the green, ultraviolet and blue regions of the spectrum. The spatial scale in the blue and ultraviolet images was 2.3 km/pixel. The original scale in the green image (which was captured on the CCD in the usual manner and then reduced in size by 2x2 pixel summing within the camera system) was 4.6 km/pixels. It has been enlarged for display to the same scale as the other two through bicubic interpolation. All three images have been scaled so that the brightness of Crisium basin, the dark circular region in the upper right, is the same in each image.

Credit: Cassini Imaging Team/University of Arizona/JPL/NASA.
Released: September 1, 1999
Image/Caption Information
  Cassini Images the Moon
Avg Rating: 8.47/10

Full size 1424x1024:
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Alliance Member Comments
sumit_saturn (Dec 20, 2007 at 1:01 AM):
Hey My Dear Earth Mom , My Birth Place, I Am Going For Reasearch On Our Saturn Uncle.... Good Bye.. Mom...
madd1 (Dec 30, 2006 at 9:04 PM):
Hello Back young feller!
chris (Dec 28, 2006 at 4:45 PM):
Hello world!

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