This brief three-frame movie of the Moon was made from three Cassini narrow-angle images as the spacecraft passed by the Moon on the way to its closest approach with Earth on August 17, 1999. 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" data compression technique in flight. From left to right, they show the Moon in the green, blue and ultraviolet regions of the spectrum in 40, 60 and 80 millisecond 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 1.4 miles per pixel (2.3 kilometers). The original scale in the green image (which was captured in the usual manner and then reduced in size by 2x2 pixel summing within the camera system) was 2.8 miles per pixel (4.6 kilometers). It has been enlarged for display to the same scale as the other two. The imaging data were processed and released by the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations (CICLOPS) at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, Tucson, AZ.
Photo Credit: NASA/JPL/Cassini Imaging Team/University of Arizona
Cassini, launched in 1997, is a joint mission of NASA, the European Space Agency and Italian Space Agency. The mission is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington DC. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA.