Southern terrain on Saturn's moon Rhea is dimly illuminated by Saturnshine in this view of the dark side of the moon captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
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Rhea Lit at Night

Southern terrain on Saturn's moon Rhea is dimly illuminated by Saturnshine in this Cassini spacecraft view of the dark side of the moon.

The spacecraft's camera is looking toward the night side of Rhea (1,528 kilometers, or 949 miles across), but sunlight reflected off the day side of immense Saturn is bright enough to illuminate the craters seen here. This view is centered on terrain at 23 degrees south latitude, 315 degrees west longitude.

Four background stars are visible.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Aug. 1, 2011. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) from Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 113 degrees. Scale in the original image was 800 meters (2,600 feet) per pixel. The image was contrast enhanced and magnified by a factor of 1.5 to enhance the visibility of surface features.

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

Image details


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Cassini Orbiter

Imaging Science Subsystem - Wide Angle



Full-Res TIFF:
PIA14574.tif (0.58 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA14574.jpg (0.11 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute