CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Tethys the Spy
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Tethys appears to be peeking out from behind Rhea, watching the watcher.

Tethys appears brighter than Rhea because Tethys has a higher albedo, or reflectivity. Scientists believe that Tethys' surprisingly high albedo is due to the water ice jets emerging from its neighbor, Enceladus. The fresh water ice becomes the E ring and can eventually arrive at Tethys, giving it a fresh surface layer of clean ice.

Lit terrain seen here is on the anti-Saturn side of Rhea. North on Rhea is up. The image was taken in red light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on April 20, 2012.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers) from Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 59 degrees. Image scale is 7 miles (11 kilometers) per pixel.

The Cassini Solstice 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 Solstice Mission visit http://ciclops.org, http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: December 15, 2014 (PIA 18293)
Image/Caption Information
  Tethys the Spy
PIA 18293

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