Saturday, July 31, 2010


I continue to toy with Voyager's underexposed but highest resolution image of Neptune's second largest moon, Proteus.  I think this version may be the best approximation of how it actually appears.  Be very careful with feature identification.  In once sense, the features visible are real.  However, the fainter features  are hard to interpret.   The image was so badly underexposed that Voyager only barely detected these features.  Hence, a crater might appear as a "u" shape" or even an ambiguous blip because the higher contrast areas (the side that was in shadow, for instance) but lower contrast features and craters under high solar illumination are lost or nearly totally lost.  However, some craters, including the large one in the upper right, and some grooves/fractures are visible.  Given that Proteus is in roughly the same size class as Mimas (moon of Saturn) and Miranda (moon of Uranus), it is remarkable how primitive and irregularly shaped it is.
 Here is the second best image, the lone color shot of Proteus. 

Processed Images Copyright Ted Stryk, Raw Data Courtesy NASA/JPL


Daniel Macháček said...

Really best images of Proteus! Second image looks really fantastic, especially if one knows how original raw images looks (darkly and noisy).

Ted Stryk said...

Thanks! It is a frustrating dataset.