CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Ancient Impacts

Ancient Impacts
PIA 06560

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  Features on the surface of Rhea (1,528 kilometers, 949 miles across) reveal clues about the moon's history. In this Cassini image, two large impact basins near center and bottom exhibit central peaks. The image shows largely the trailing hemisphere of Rhea. At right, some of the wispy markings that cover the moon's trailing hemisphere are visible.

The image was taken in visible light with the narrow angle camera on December 9, 2004, from a distance of 2.5 million kilometers (1.6 million miles) from Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 62 degrees. The image scale is about 15 kilometers (9 miles) per pixel. The image has been magnified by a factor of two and contrast enhanced to aid visibility.

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: January 11, 2005 (PIA 06560)
Image/Caption Information