CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Map of Tethys - June 2008
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Map of Tethys - June 2008
PIA 08416

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  This global map of Saturn's moon Tethys was created using images taken during Cassini spacecraft flybys, with Voyager images filling in the gaps in Cassini's coverage.

The map is an equidistant (simple cylindrical) projection and has a scale of 292.5 meters (959.6 feet) per pixel at the equator.

The mean radius of Tethys used for projection of this map is 536.3 kilometers (333.2 miles). The resolution of the map is 32 pixels per degree.

This map is an update to the version released in February 2008. See PIA08407.

The Cassini Equinox Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. 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 was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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.

For more information about the Cassini Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: August 6, 2008 (PIA 08416)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
Mercury_3488 (Aug 11, 2008 at 6:55 AM):
Sorry Carolyn,

Perhaps I was a bit blunt, but also perhaps I did not put my point across very well.

Yes, it's true that Tethys & Rhea do not have the geological impact that Titan, Enceladus, Dione & Iapetus have, & visually, yes, it's craters on craters on craters.

But yes also, they record the pasdt environment better than the active or recently active moons a lot better, as geological activity erases what's there before, so Tethys & Rhea are a huge bonus in this respect of recording what has happened within the Kronian system as a whole.

So yes I am very pleased to see that they are ALL being mapped properly now. Perhaps rather than boring, Tehtys & Rhea are probably the simplist large moons in the solar system. I think perhaps only the Uranian moon Umbriel out of the other large solar system moons is as simple??

Andrew Brown.
carolyn (CICLOPS) (Aug 10, 2008 at 9:33 AM):
You think this is boring? What about Mimas?!!! It's a good thing there's Herschel crater or there would be no drama at all on Mimas. Now, as a member of a collection of bodies, it and the other `boring' moons provide valuable points of comparison in their mass densities, compositions, cratering records, etc, so they really aren't as boring as they look. In fact, they are quite valuable and we're glad to have the opportunity to explore them. But for exquisite geological formations and that instinctive `I wanna go there' emotion they evoke, it's hard to beat Enceladus, Titan, Iapetus, and even Dione.
Mercury_3488 (Aug 10, 2008 at 8:02 AM):
I agree also with you on this bruno.

Compared to Enceladus, Dione & Iapetus, Tethys does come over as a bit of a bore.

True Ithaca Chasma does offer something else, but really there appears to be little else of interest. There appears to be a smoother band around the equator, but even that is craters on craters on craters.

IMO Rhea & Tethys are among the most boring larger moons in the solar system.

Their saving graces may be they record the environment of the conditions within the Saturn system over the last 4.56 GYrs.

It is good to see though that they are all being properly mapped. This is fundamental in understanding the evolution of the Saturn system.

Andrew Brown.
bruno.thiery (Aug 10, 2008 at 4:24 AM):
It is such a desolation, isn'it? Even on the previous map, of tiny Enceladus, there is so much more variety of landscapes.
Here this is craters interspersed with a few big cracks, craters everywhere, endlessly, on thousands of kilometers. The future settlers will have to turn their gaze to the sky.

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