Courtesy NASA / JPL / Space Science Institute.

Cassini's narrow-angle camera acquired this image of Saturn's moon Rhea on January 16th. With a diameter of 1,528 kilometers (949 miles), Rhea edges out Iapetus for being Saturn's second largest satellite, though it is less than half the size of Earth's Moon. Like most Saturnian satellites, Rhea has a heavily cratered surface that is covered by water-ice. This image of the trailing hemisphere reveals wispy streaks in the ice that may be ice cliffs. It also shows many polygon-shaped craters, whose size and distribution will be studied by scientists in the months and years ahead.

This view of Rhea was taken at a range of 500,000 km and has a resolution of about 3 km per pixel. The image has been contrast enhanced and magnified by a factor of two to enhance visibility. While this is Cassini's most detailed image of Rhea, extremely high-resolution images are anticipated after the November 26th encounter, when the NASA spacecraft will fly by the moon at a range of only 500 km.


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