Rhea and Edge-On Rings
April 21, 2010
From just below the plane of Saturn's rings, the Cassini spacecraft looks at the rings edge-on and sees the planet's second largest moon beyond.
Although Rhea may appear to be in the foreground of this image, it is not. The rings are closer to Cassini. The small moon Prometheus, orbiting between the A ring and the thin F ring, is also visible here near the upper middle of the image. This view looks toward the Saturn-facing side of Rhea (1,528 kilometers, or 949 miles across) and the leading hemisphere of Prometheus (86 kilometers, or 53 miles across). This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from just below the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 31, 2010. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.5 million kilometers (1.6 million miles) from Rhea and approximately 2 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) from Prometheus. Image scale is 15 kilometers (9 miles) per pixel on Rhea and 12 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel on Prometheus.
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