CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
A Truly Grand Canyon

A crescent Tethys (1,062 kilometers, 660 miles across) shows off its great scar, Ithaca Chasma, for which the moon is renowned. The chasm is 100 kilometers (60 miles) across on average, and is 4 kilometers (2 miles) deep in places. See PIA07734 for a much closer view of the chasm taken during a Cassini flyby.

Ithaca Chasma is the most prominent sign of ancient geologic activity on Tethys, whose surface is characterized principally by heavy cratering.

The lit surface visible here is on the moon's Saturn-facing hemisphere; north on Tethys is straight up.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Nov. 28, 2005 using a filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 930 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (700,000 miles) from Tethys and at a Sun-Tethys-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 123 degrees. Resolution in the original image was 6 kilometers (4 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: December 28, 2005 (PIA 07662)
Image/Caption Information
  A Truly Grand Canyon
PIA 07662

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