One of the objectives of NASA's Cassini mission is to produce global maps of Saturn's six major icy moons. With the release of a set of new color maps, NASA has announced that this objective has been almost completely fulfilled. It's an interesting exercise to compare the before and after maps of Saturn's moons that show the differences in detail between Voyager in the 1980s and Cassini now. This particular image shows what Voyager saw of the moon Mimas. Note the fuzziness and lack of detail.
Cassini got a much better look at Saturn's moon Mimas than the Voyager mission did back in the early 1980s. The missing areas are filled in, craters and pockmarks can be seen in detail. This is one of a set of new Saturn moon maps produced by Paul Schenk, a participating scientist with the Cassini imaging team.
NASA's Voyager mission picked up this imagery of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus in the early 1980s. Large parts of the map are missing, an issue that was later corrected by the Cassini mission during 10 years of study around Saturn.
Enceladus is one of half a dozen major icy moons around Saturn. This color-enhanced map was created using data collected by NASA's Cassini mission. It shows great detail, including the bluish fracture lines along the bottom of the map. It fills in a lot of detail missing from data collected by the earlier Voyager mission.
This map of Tethys put together from data collected by the Voyager mission in the early 1980s is missing large chunks of surface area, while other parts are blurry. NASA's more recent Cassini mission gathered fresh data to help create a new set of color maps.
Cassini improved greatly on Voyager's early maps of Saturn's major icy moons. This image of Tethys is color-enhanced to show greater detail of the moon's surface. It shows a difference in color and brightness between the moon's hemispheres.
The Voyager mission, which visited Saturn in the early 1980s, picked up some imagery of the planet's major icy moons, but a lot of detail was lacking. This image shows Dione as seen by Voyager. Scientists have waited a long time for better maps of the moons, which Cassini has now delivered.
This color map of Saturn's icy moon Dione was created using the extensive data captured by NASA's Cassini mission. It goes into much greater detail than Voyager was able to provide when it visited Saturn in the early 1980s. Notice the obvious difference in color between Dione's hemispheres, a feature that was hard to detect in the Voyager images.
Large parts of this black-and-white map of Saturn's moon Rhea are blurred out or missing. This map was created using data from NASA's Voyager mission, which visited Saturn around 30 years ago. Researchers now have access to improved maps thanks to the Cassini mission and the detailed information and images it has sent back.
NASA's Cassini mission has been studying Saturn and its surrounding satellites for about a decade. The data it collected on the planet's major icy moons has been turned into a series of new color-enhanced maps showing fascinating new details of the satellites' surfaces. This map shows the moon Rhea and its color variations.
Saturn's icy moon Iapetus as seen by NASA's 1980s Voyager mission left a lot to the imagination. The more recent Cassini mission data has given researchers a lot more information to work with. This original Voyager map shows only vague dark areas.
NASA's Cassini mission helped researchers generate a new set of color maps of Saturn's major icy moons. This map of Iapetus is a huge improvement on the previous map created from data from the 1980s Voyager mission. Cassini continues to send back fascinating images of Saturn and its surrounding satellites.