CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Crater Terminator

Crater Terminator
PIA 11458

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  The terminator between light and dark throws Rhea's cratered surface into stark relief while the southern hemisphere is scored by bright icy cliffs.

North on Rhea is up and rotated 42 degrees to the right in this 2-tile mosaic. This view looks toward the leading hemisphere of Rhea (1528 kilometers, 949 miles across).

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 2, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 181,000 kilometers (112,000 miles) from Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 91 degrees. Image scale is 1 kilometer (3,300 feet) per pixel.

The Cassini Equinox Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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 Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: March 27, 2009 (PIA 11458)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (May 3, 2009 at 7:06 PM):
The bright icy cliffs are an interesting feature on Rhea. Their steep walls exposed to the Sun are very bright. They remind me on rather similar features on Dione.
And then we're seeing that the largest crater in the lower part of the image has got bright inner walls, too. Two medium-sized craters are on top of one, very long icy feature indicating it's not a geologically very young structure.