February 28, 2011
The Cassini spacecraft looks past the cratered south polar area of Saturn's moon Rhea to spy the moon Dione and the planet's rings in the distance.
Dione's "wispy" terrain can be seen on the trailing hemisphere of that moon. See Dione's Icy Wisps to learn more.
This view looks toward the south polar area of the anti-Saturn side of Rhea (1,528 kilometers, or 949 miles across) and the Saturn-facing side of Dione (1,123 kilometers, or 698 miles across). North on the moons is up.
This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane. The rings, closer to Cassini than Dione is, obscure the view of the south of Dione.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 11, 2011. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 61,000 kilometers (38,000 miles) from Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 15 degrees. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 924,000 kilometers (574,000 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 15 degrees. Image scale is 358 meters (1,175 feet) per pixel on Rhea and 6 kilometers (4 miles) per pixel on Dione.
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