CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Sun-Drenched Rhea

Sun-Drenched Rhea
PIA 07517

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  A brightly sunlit Rhea (1,528 kilometers, 949 miles across) commands the foreground in this artistic view from Cassini. The disc-like shape of the planet's splendid rings is just discernible near lower left.

The spacecraft was just above the ringplane when it acquired this image, and thus captured the darkened appearance of the dense B ring when viewed in transmitted sunlight. From this perspective, bright areas in the rings are regions of low density, containing very small particles that effectively scatter light toward Cassini.

North on Rhea is up and rotated about 25 degrees to the left. This view shows principally the anti-Saturn hemisphere on Rhea. The right side of Rhea is overexposed.

The image was taken in visible light with the narrow angle camera on Feb. 18, 2005 from a distance of approximately 540,000 kilometers (340,000 miles) from Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 110 degrees. The image scale is 3 kilometers (2 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: June 7, 2005 (PIA 07517)
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