Cassini captures new images of icy moon Rhea

March 12, 2012
NASA's Cassini spacecraft took this raw, unprocessed image of Saturn's moon Rhea on March 10, 2012. The camera was pointing toward Rhea at approximately 26,019 miles (41,873 kilometers) away. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI

(PhysOrg.com) -- These raw, unprocessed images of Saturn's second largest moon, Rhea, were taken on March 10, 2012, by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. This was a relatively distant flyby with a close-approach distance of 26,000 miles (42,000 kilometers), well suited for global geologic mapping.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft took this raw, unprocessed image of Saturn's moon Rhea on March 10, 2012. The camera was pointing toward Rhea at approximately 26,257 miles (42,258 kilometers) away. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI

During the , Cassini captured these distinctive views of the moon's cratered surface, creating a 30-frame mosaic of Rhea's leading hemisphere and the side of the moon that faces away from Saturn. The observations included the large Mamaldi (300 miles, or 480 kilometers, across) and Tirawa (220 miles, or 360 kilometers, across) impact basins and the 29-miles (47-kilometers) ray crater Inktomi, one of the youngest surface features on Rhea (about 950 miles, or 1,530 kilometers, across).

NASA's Cassini spacecraft took this raw, unprocessed image of Saturn's moon Rhea on March 10, 2012. The camera was pointing toward Rhea at approximately 26,157 miles (42,096 kilometers) away. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI

All of Cassini's raw images can be seen at saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/photos/raw/ .

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the and the Italian Space Agency.

Explore further: Cassini's Photo Album From a Season of Icy Moons

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