CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Prime Time for Rhea

This map of the surface of Rhea (1,528 kilometers, 949 miles across) illustrates the regions that will be imaged by Cassini during the spacecraft's very close flyby of the moon on November 26, 2005. At closest approach, the spacecraft is expected to pass approximately 500 kilometers (310 miles) above the moon's surface.

The colored lines delineate the regions that will be imaged at differing resolutions, listed in the legend at bottom.

The new high-resolution coverage will examine details on the anti-Saturn hemisphere of Rhea, including two large impact basins there. Cassini previously imaged terrain farther to the south of this at approximately 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) per pixel in August 2005 (see PIA07566). Imaging scientists also hope to get a high-resolution view of a relatively young 50-kilometer (30-mile) wide crater on the moon's leading hemisphere (see PIA06648).

Planetary scientists are interested in learning about the compositional makeup of Rhea, other than water ice, as well as the nature of the wispy streaks on the moon's trailing hemisphere. In December, 2004, Cassini revealed that similar bright, wispy markings on Dione are actually a system of braided tectonic fractures (see PIA06162).

The map was made from images obtained by both the Cassini and Voyager spacecraft.

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: November 17, 2005 (PIA 07756)
Image/Caption Information
  Prime Time for Rhea
PIA 07756

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