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As the Cassini spacecraft slid between the Sun and Rhea, it caught this view of the moon at almost full opposition.
North on Rhea is up in this image, and, in the southern hemisphere, the faint outlines of a ray crater are visible. Lines, or rays, of debris from an impact streak outward from the crater on the left.
This view looks toward the leading hemisphere of Rhea with a Sun-Rhea-spacecraft, or phase, angle of about 0.4 degrees. With the sun almost directly behind Cassini, topographic details such as the crater are washed out by brightness. More contrast between these details is visible from greater phase angles (see PIA07609 ).
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 27, 2008 at a distance of approximately 1.285 million kilometers (799,000 miles) from Rhea. Image scale is 8 kilometers (5 miles) per pixel.
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.