Taken this past February, this Cassini image shows surface features on Saturn’s moon Rhea.
Surface features on Rhea – mostly impact craters in this image – are thrown into sharp relief thanks to long shadows. Viewing this terrain near the day/night terminator makes it easier to appreciate just how violent Rhea’s geological history has been.
The craters on Rhea (949 miles, or 1,527 kilometers across) are the result of 4.6 billion years of bombardment by small bodies. With very little erosion, the scars and craters remain unless they are overwritten by other, newer impacts.
This view looks toward the anti-Saturn hemisphere of Rhea. North on Rhea is up and rotated 11 degrees to the right. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on February 10, 2015.
The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 47,000 miles (76,000 kilometers) from Rhea. Image scale is 1,500 feet (460 meters) per pixel.
The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (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 mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.
Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute