The Cassini spacecraft acquired this detailed view of Rhea just before the moon slipped into an eclipse by Saturn's shadow.
During the eclipse, the wide-angle camera acquired support observations for Cassini's Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) instrument. Such images help confirm CIRS' pointing on the sky as that instrument observed Rhea's infrared radiation in the absence of solar illumination.
This view looks toward the Saturn-facing side of Rhea (1,528 kilometers, or 949 miles across). North is toward the top of the image and rotated 23 degrees to the left.
The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 14, 2008. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 506,000 kilometers (315,000 miles) from Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 32 degrees. 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 operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute