PIA18300: Little Bright Spot

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.

Background Info:

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

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and http://www.nasa.gov/cassini . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Rhea
System Saturn
Target Type Satellite
Mission Cassini-Huygens
Instrument Host Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Detector Narrow Angle Camera
Extra Keywords Crater, Grayscale
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2015-01-12
Date in Caption 2013-07-29
Image Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA18300
Identifier PIA18300