equipped of instruments that can take pictures at different wavelength intervals.
(for example: in the red, the blue, the green, the U.V., infra-red, or in the visible field).
In each of these intervals, the instrument measures the quantity of luminous energy received,
that can be translated onto a dark pixel.
Image 1 was obtained in a visible wavelengths of the spectrum and is translated in pixel form that goes from white to black.
This image therefore gives us information on the brightness of the surface, so that a human eye
could directly see it, but doesn't give any indications on the real colours of the surface.
It is a monochromatic image.
Frequent images in fake colours are made: Informations on the brightness of the surface
in the blue, red, green channels are combined to obtain colours and add the monochromatic image so that
the real brightness in the different zones are respected.
It is also possible to combine the informations of tree different channels but to then represent
them in the colours blue,red and green to give the human eye information more easily understandable.
For example image 3 has been obtained with the canal U.V, green and infra-red.
This image in fake colours reveals the difference between certain zones of the surface.
The same analyse has been done on Mimas' other face(image 4) and has also showed some differences.
The origin of these differences is still unknown, there are small variations of composition or of texture of the materials of the surface.
More particularly the zones around Herschel present a blue colour in the images in fake colours.
It could have been non-uniformly ejected materials during the impact.
Mimas' shape has been determined first with the help of the photographs from the probes
Voyager 1 et 2
and then with Cassini
The shape of the satellite is represented by a triaxial ellipsoid. The average diameter is 392 km and the difference
between the biggest and the smallest axis is of about 17 km. This difference permits us to establish if a body is
differentiated or not, by comparing with theoretical values. In Mimas case, two models of internal structure are possible.
- Differentiated internal structure : we have a core of rock and a mental of icy water.
- Homogeneous internal structure: the satellite is composed of a homogeneous mix of icy water and of rock,
but the surface could then be porous.
The value of the density permits us to deduce that Mimas contains little rock in comparison with
If Mimas has a rock core, the radioactive heating will then be less important than in Enceladus' case.
This could explain why Mimas isn't geologically active, even with the even more intense tide forces.
Figures 1 to 4 (credit: JPL/NASA)
2)Aged surface: craters in craters
3)Treatment in fake colours of image 1
4)Treatment of an image in fake colours