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Saturn's moon Rhea at the Southern Pole.


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Southern polar region of Rhea.
Southern polar region of Rhea. Image credit: NASA/JPL/SSI.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft took this picture of Rhea, one of Saturn's moons. The reasonably close view is of the moon's southern polar region which has been extensively cratered during its long history. Cassini acquired this view on July 14, 2005 when it made a close flyby, passing only 239,000 km (149,000 miles) away from the moon. The large, well-defined oval-shaped crater on the upper right is approximately 115 km (71 miles) across.

Like the rest of Rhea's surface, the southern polar region of this Saturn Moon has been extensively re-worked by cratering over the eons. This close-up shows that most sizeable craters have smaller, younger impact sites within them. Near the left lies an intriguing gash.

The largest well-defined crater visible here is an oval-shaped impact toward the upper right. The crater is 115 by 91 kilometers (71 by 57 miles) in size.

Cassini acquired this view during a distant flyby of Rhea (1,528 kilometers, or 949 miles across) on July 14, 2005.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera at a distance of approximately 239,000 kilometers (149,000 miles) from Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 56 degrees. The image was obtained using a filter sensitive to wavelengths of Infrared light centered at 930 nanometers. The image scale is about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) 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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.




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