Tethys' Great Rift
Photojournal: PIA06558
Published: December 17, 2004

Tethys' Great Rift

December 17, 2004

Full-Res: PIA06558

This dazzling view of Tethys shows the tremendous rift called Ithaca Chasma, which is 100 kilometers (60 miles) wide in places, and runs nearly three-fourths of the way around the icy moon. Tethys is 1,060 kilometers (659 miles) across.

Adjacent to the great Chasma is a large multi-ring impact basin with a diameter of about 300 kilometers (185 miles). The inner ring of the basin is about 130 kilometers (80 miles) in diameter. The moon's heavily cratered face is indicative of an ancient surface.

This view shows principally the Saturn-facing hemisphere of Tethys. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on Dec. 15, 2004, at a distance of approximately 560,000 kilometers (348,000 miles) from Tethys and at a Sun-Tethys-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 91 degrees. The image scale is about 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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and the Cassini imaging team home page, http://ciclops.org .

Image Credit:

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.


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