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This intense false-color view highlights and enhances color variations across the intensely cratered and cracked surface of Rhea.
To create the false-color view, ultraviolet, green and infrared images were combined into a single black and white picture that isolates and maps regional color differences. This "color map" was then superposed over a clear-filter image. The origin of the color differences is not yet understood, but may be caused by subtle differences in the surface composition or the sizes of grains making up the icy soil.
This view shows terrain on the trailing hemisphere of Rhea (1,528 kilometers, 949 miles across). North is up.
The images were taken using the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 18, 2006 at a distance of approximately 268,000 kilometers (166,000 miles) from Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 115 degrees. Image scale is 2 kilometers (1.2 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 Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.