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Saturn’s brightly sunlit moon Rhea commands the foreground in this image from Cassini. The planet’s splendid rings are discernible in the background. Rhea is 1,528 kilometers (949 miles) across.
The spacecraft was just above the ringplane when it acquired this image, and thus captured the darkened appearance of the dense B ring when viewed with sunlight filtered through the rings. From this perspective, bright areas in the rings are regions of low density, containing very small particles that effectively scatter light toward Cassini.
North on Rhea is up and rotated about 25 degrees to the left. This view shows principally the anti-Saturn hemisphere on Rhea. The right side of Rhea is overexposed.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 18, 2005, at a distance of approximately 540,000 kilometers (340,000 miles) from Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 110 degrees. The image scale is 3 kilometers (2 miles) per pixel.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, 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, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute