CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Rhea Lit at Night

Rhea Lit at Night
PIA 14574

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  Southern terrain on Saturn's moon Rhea is dimly illuminated by Saturnshine in this Cassini view of the dark side of the moon.

The spacecraft's camera is looking toward the night side of Rhea (1528 kilometers, 949 miles across), but sunlight reflected off the day side of immense Saturn is bright enough to illuminate the craters seen here. This view is centered on terrain at 23 degrees south latitude, 315 degrees west longitude.

Four background stars are visible.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Aug. 1, 2011. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 6,000 kilometers (4,000 miles) from Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 113 degrees. Scale in the original image was 800 meters (2,600 feet) per pixel. The image was contrast enhanced and magnified by a factor of 1.5 to enhance the visibility of surface features.

The Cassini Solstice 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 Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI
Released: September 19, 2011 (PIA 14574)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Oct 23, 2011 at 4:48 PM):
Rab09: I think it's the slope of a rift valley. Below it is running the valley's other slope. The valley is wider to the right.
Rab09 (Sep 21, 2011 at 1:10 PM):
The uplift, fissure seen running right to left (middle)in photo. Any idea how it was formed?