CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Little Bright Spot

A bright spot can be seen on the left side of Rhea in this image. The spot is the crater Inktomi, named for a Lakota spider spirit.

Inktomi is believed to be the youngest feature on Rhea (949 miles or 1527 kilometers across). The relative youth of the feature is evident by its brightness. Material that is newly excavated from below the moon's surface and tossed across the surface by a cratering event appears bright. But as the newly exposed surface is subjected to the harsh space environment, it darkens. This is one technique scientists use to date features on surfaces.

This view looks toward the trailing hemisphere of Rhea. North on Rhea is up and rotated 21 degrees to the left. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 29, 2013.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.0 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) from Rhea. Image scale is 6 miles (10 kilometers) per pixel.

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/Space Science Institute
Released: January 12, 2015 (PIA 18300)
Image/Caption Information
  Little Bright Spot
PIA 18300

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