CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Rhea in Natural Color

Rhea in Natural Color
PIA 06578

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  Rhea's trailing hemisphere, seen here in natural color, displays bright, wispy terrain which is similar in appearance to that of Dione. At this distance however, the exact nature of these wispy features remains tantalizingly out of the reach of Cassini's cameras.

At this resolution, the wispy terrain on Rhea looks like a thin coating painted onto the moon's surface. Cassini images from December 2004 (see PIA06163) revealed that, when seen at moderate resolution, Dione's wispy terrain is comprised of many long, narrow and braided fractures.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were acquired with the narrow angle camera on January 16, 2005, from a distance of approximately 496,500 kilometers (308,600 miles) from Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 35 degrees. Resolution in the original image was about 3 kilometers (2 miles) per pixel. The image has been rotated so that north on Rhea is up. Contrast was enhanced and the image was magnified by a factor of two 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: February 4, 2005 (PIA 06578)
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