Smooth Surface of Telesto
February 14, 2006
The Cassini spacecraft passed within a cosmic stone's throw of Telesto in October, 2005 capturing this shot of the tiny Trojan moon.
Telesto (24 kilometers, or 15 miles across) appears to be mantled in fine, icy material, although a few craters and some outcrops and/or large boulders are visible. Its smooth surface does not appear to retain the record of intense cratering that most of Saturn's other moons possess.
The image was taken in polarized green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 11, 2005, at a distance of approximately 14,500 kilometers (9,000 miles) from Telesto. The image scale is 86 meters (283 feet) per pixel.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute