CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Craters, Craters Everywhere

Craters within craters cover the scarred face of Rhea in this oblique, high resolution view of terrain on the moon's western hemisphere.

A large, degraded crater lies at center, filled with rolling hummocks and many smaller craters. A couple of linear depressions are visible in the terrain (especially at lower right), possibly marking tectonic faults. The crater is about 90 kilometers (56 miles) wide and is located at 8.5 degrees south latitude, 154.9 west longitude. The moon's icy regolith, or loose surface material, has likely been pummeled into a fine powder over the eons.

This is one of the highest resolution images of Rhea's surface obtained during Cassini's very close flyby on November 26, 2005, during which the spacecraft swooped to within 500 kilometers (310 miles) of the large moon. Rhea is 1,528 kilometers (949 miles) across and is Saturn's second largest moon, after planet-sized Titan.

The clear filter image was acquired with the wide-angle camera at an altitude of 620 kilometers (385 miles) above Rhea. Image scale is about 85 meters (280 feet) 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: December 6, 2005 (PIA 07765)
Image/Caption Information
  Craters, Craters Everywhere
PIA 07765

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