Cassini caught a hint of Rhea's heavily cratered surface as it sped rapidly away from the moon on its first orbit of Saturn. There is a noticeable brightening near the right limb of the icy moon. Cassini will have its first flyby of Rhea in November 2005.
The image was taken in visible light, with the narrow angle camera on July 20, 2004, from a distance of 5.9 million kilometers (3.6 million miles) from Rhea, and at a Sun-Rhea-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 91 degrees. The image scale is 35 kilometers (22 miles) per pixel. The image has been magnified by a factor of four to aid visibility.
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.