Cartographic Mapping of the Icy Satellites Using ISS and VIMS Data

  • Th. Roatsch
  • R. Jaumann
  • K. Stephan
  • P. C. Thomas


The sizes and shapes of six icy Saturnian satellites have been measured from Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) data, employing limb coordinates and stereogram-metric control points. Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys, Dione and Rhea are well described by triaxial ellipsoids; Iapetus is best represented by an oblate spheroid. The ISS acquired many high-resolution images (<1 km/pixel) during close flybys of the medium-sized icy Saturnian satellites (Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys, Dione, Rhea, Iapetus, and Phoebe). We combined these images with lower-resolution coverage and a few images taken by Voyager cameras to produce high-resolution mosaics of these satellites. The global mosaics are the baseline for high-resolution atlases. The atlases consist of 15 tiles each for Enceladus, Dione, and Tethys, whereas the Iapetus, Mimas, and Phoebe atlases consist of 3, 1, and 1 tile, respectively. The nomenclature used in these atlases was suggested by the Cassini-ISS team and approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The whole atlases are available to the public through the Imaging Team's website ( and from the Planetary Data System (PDS, Additionally to ISS, the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) onboard the Cassini spacecraft detected the chemical and physical surface properties of the Saturnian satellites. Multiple VIMS observations were combined into global VIMS maps representing the VIMS coverage achieved during the nominal Cassini mission. Progressed mapping has been done for the satellites Dione, Rhea, and Enceladus.


International Astronomical Union Band Depth Image Cube Narrow Angle Camera Cassini Spacecraft 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the work for the software development, image processing and the generation of the atlases of M. Wählisch, A. Hoffmeister, E. Kersten, K.-D. Matz, F. Scholten, R. Wagner, and B. Giese (DLR). They also acknowledge the image planning and camera operation work of their colleagues from the Cassini imaging team especially the operations team at the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations (CICLOPS). Furthermore, they acknowledge helpful discussions with J. Blue and R. Kirk (USGS) about the proposed feature nomenclature and for reviewing the atlases. Finally, the authors acknowledge the planning and operation work of their colleagues from the Cassini VIMS team.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Th. Roatsch
    • 1
  • R. Jaumann
    • 1
  • K. Stephan
    • 1
  • P. C. Thomas
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Planetary ResearchGerman Aerospace Center (DLR)BerlinGermany
  2. 2.Center for Radiophysics and Space ResearchCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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