CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Tethys' Great Rift

Tethys' Great Rift
PIA 06558

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  This dazzling view of Tethys (1,062 kilometers, or 660 miles across) shows the tremendous rift called Ithaca Chasma, which is 100 kilometers (60 miles) wide in places, and runs nearly three-fourths of the way around the icy moon.

Adjacent to the great chasm is a large multi-ring impact basin with a diameter of about 300 kilometers (185 miles). The inner ring of the basin is about 130 kilometers (80 miles) in diameter. The moon's heavily cratered face is indicative of an ancient surface.

This view shows principally the Saturn-facing hemisphere of Tethys. The image was taken in visible light with the narrow angle camera on December 15, 2004, from a distance of approximately 560,000 kilometers (348,000 miles) from Tethys and at a Sun-Tethys-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 91 degrees. The image scale is about 3 kilometers (2 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 17, 2004 (PIA 06558)
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