CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Rhea's Real Big Rays

With streaks of icy material thrown in many directions, a huge ray crater stretches across nearly half of the leading hemisphere of Saturn's moon Rhea.

With the sun almost directly behind the spacecraft in this low-phase image, the disk of the moon is almost completely lit for Cassini's camera. Lit terrain seen here is on the leading hemisphere of Rhea (1528 kilometers, 949 miles across). North on Rhea is up and rotated 30 degrees to the right.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 3, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 820,000 kilometers (509,000 miles) from Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 6 degrees. Image scale is 5 kilometers (3 miles) 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: April 7, 2009 (PIA 11465)
Image/Caption Information
  Rhea's Real Big Rays
PIA 11465

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Alliance Member Comments
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (May 3, 2009 at 7:16 PM):
Side note: One can see at least two large impact basins in the upper part of this image.