New images of an icy world

Cassini image of Rhea

NASA's Cassini spacecraft took this raw, unprocessed image of Saturn's moon Rhea on March 10, 2012. The camera was pointing toward Rhea from a distance of approximately 41,873 kilometres.

THESE RAW, UNPROCESSED IMAGES of Saturn’s second largest moon, Rhea, were taken on March 10, 2012, by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. This was a relatively distant flyby with a close-approach distance of 42,000 kilometres, well suited for global geologic mapping.

At 1,530 kilometres diameter, Rhea is the ninth-largest moon in the Solar System.

During the flyby, Cassini captured these views of the moon’s cratered surface, creating a 30-frame mosaic of Rhea’s leading hemisphere and the side of the moon that faces away from Saturn.

The observations included the large Mamaldi (480 kilometres across) and Tirawa (360 kilometres across) impact basins and the 47-kilometre-wide “ray crater”Inktomi, one of the youngest surface features on Rhea.

Cassini image of Rhea

This second raw, unprocessed Cassini image of Rhea was taken from a distance of approximately 42,258 kilometres, and shows the moon's icy, cratered surface. The streaks on the right are an artefact of the imaging.

Cassini image of Rhea

Shadows help to give a 3D effect to Rhea's craters in this raw, unprocessed Cassini shot taken from a distance of approximately 42,096 kilometres.

Cassini image of Rhea

This raw, unprocessed shot was taken from much further away, approximately 115,060 kilometres, and shows Rhea's "terminator"—the dividing line between day and night.

Cassini has been investigating Saturn and its moons since 2004. This included dropping a probe called Huygens onto the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, in 2005. Launched in 1997, Cassini-Huygens mission is a co-operative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.

See all of Cassini’s raw images at NASA’s Saturn page.

Adapted from information issued by NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSI.

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