March 12, 2012
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 26,000 miles (42,000 kilometers), well suited for global geologic mapping.
During the flyby, Cassini captured these distinctive 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 (300 miles, or 480 kilometers, across) and Tirawa (220 miles, or 360 kilometers, across) impact basins and the 29-miles (47-kilometers) ray crater Inktomi, one of the youngest surface features on Rhea (about 950 miles, or 1,530 kilometers, across).
All of Cassini's raw images can be seen at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/photos/raw/ .
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena manages the mission for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations team is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. JPL is a division of Caltech.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and http://www.nasa.gov/cassini .
Jia-Rui C. Cook 818-354-0850
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.