Craters, Craters Everywhere

Close-up view of Rhea
December 6, 2005
PIA NumberPIA07765
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Craters within craters cover the scarred face of Saturn's moon Rhea in this oblique, high-resolution view of terrain on the moon's western hemisphere.

A large, degraded crater lies at the center, filled with rolling mounds and many smaller craters. A couple of linear depressions are visible in the terrain (especially at lower right), possibly marking tectonic faults. The crater is about 90 kilometers-wide (56-miles) and is located at 8.5 degrees south latitude, 154.9 west longitude. The moon's icy regolith, or loose surface material, has likely been pummeled into a fine powder over the eons.

This is one of the highest-resolution images of Rhea's surface obtained during Cassini's close flyby on Nov. 26, 2005, during which the spacecraft swooped to within 500 kilometers (310 miles) of the large moon. Rhea is 1,528 kilometers (949 miles) across and is Saturn's second largest moon, after planet-sized Titan.

The clear filter image was acquired with the wide-angle camera at an altitude of 620 kilometers (385 miles) above Rhea. Image scale is about 85 meters (280 feet) 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 . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at .

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute