CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Opposing Rhea

A bright ray crater dominates this view of the leading hemisphere of Rhea, obtained at a time when the Sun was nearly aligned behind the Cassini spacecraft, or "opposition". At opposition, shadows disappear, making topography appear less rugged. Consequently, in this view, topographic features such as crater walls are harder to see.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 5, 2008 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of ultraviolet light centered at 338 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 869,000 kilometers (540,000 miles) from Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 4 degrees. Image scale is 5 kilometers (3 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: December 10, 2008 (PIA 10531)
Image/Caption Information
  Opposing Rhea
PIA 10531

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Alliance Member Comments
kheider (Dec 28, 2008 at 7:55 AM):
Oberon, similar yet different.