CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Where Have All the Shadows Gone?

Where Have All the Shadows Gone?
PIA 10542

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  Cassini acquired this view of Rhea's leading hemisphere near "opposition" or with the Sun almost directly behind the camera. Under this geometry, topography appears less rugged because crater rims and hills hide their own shadows. Consequently, in this view, the contrast between ejecta from Rhea's bright ray crater and the surrounding terrain is subdued, making the rays barely discernible. In this image, the brightest features are sunward-facing crater walls.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Aug. 29, 2008 at a distance of approximately 1.346 million kilometers (836,000 miles) from Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-spacecraft, or phase, angle of about 1 degree. Image scale is 8 kilometers (5 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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: December 25, 2008 (PIA 10542)
Image/Caption Information