CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Rhea and Edge-On Rings

Rhea and Edge-On Rings
PIA 12616

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  From just below the plane of Saturn's rings, Cassini looks at the rings edge-on and sees the planet's second largest moon beyond.

Although Rhea may appear to be in the foreground of this image, it is not. The rings are closer to Cassini. The small moon Prometeus, orbiting between the A ring and the thin F ring, is also visible here near the upper middle of the image. This view looks toward the Saturn-facing side of Rhea (1528 kilometers, 949 miles across) and the leading hemisphere of Prometheus (86 kilometers, 53 miles across). This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from just below the ringplane.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 31, 2010. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.5 million kilometers (1.6 million miles) from Rhea and approximately 2 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) from Prometheus. Image scale is 15 kilometers (9 miles) per pixel on Rhea and 12 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel on Prometheus.

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: April 21, 2010 (PIA 12616)
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