NASA’s Cassini spacecraft took this raw, unprocessed image of Saturn’s moon Rhea on March 10, 2012.
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Rhea is the second-largest moon of Saturn and the ninth largest moon in the Solar System. It was discovered in 1672 by Giovanni Domenico Cassini. Saturn’s second largest moon Rhea is an icy body with a density of about 1.236 g/cm3. Rhea is named after the Titan Rhea of Greek mythology, “mother of the gods”. It is also designated Saturn V (being the fifth major moon going outward from the planet). This was a relatively distant flyby, the camera was pointing toward Rhea at approximately 26,019 miles (41,873 kilometers) away that well suited for global geologic mapping. During the flyby, 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).The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena manages the mission for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL.