Stunning New Images From Cassini’s Close Flyby of Rhea

Rhea, Saturn's rings and some sister moons. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Jia-Rui C. Cook from the Cassini team sent out an alert that raw images from Cassini’s closest flyby of Saturn’s moon Rhea have begun streaming to Cassini’s raw image page, and they are well worth a look. At closest approach, Cassini came within about 69 kilometers (43 miles) of Rhea’s surface on Jan. 11. But there’s also some interesting group photos from within the Saturn System. One of the best is this image, above. How many moons can you find? I probably wouldn’t have seen them all but Emily Lakdawalla at the Planetary Blog spied five moons and the rings in this one wide-angle shot. The large moon is Rhea; above Rhea and just below the rings, is Dione; above and to the left of Rhea is Tethys. Then there are two tiny moons: squint hard to see Prometheus as tiny lump on the rings to the left of Dione, and Epimetheus is hovering between Tethys and Rhea. See some more, including closeups of Rhea and Saturn’s storm, below.

Rhea dwarfs Dione, which appears to be stuck on Saturn's rings. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
X marks the spot on Rhea. NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Closeup of Rhea's craters. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
The storm on Saturn is spreading, as seen in this latest image taken on January 12, 2011 by Cassini. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

See more at Cassini’s raw image page.

13 Replies to “Stunning New Images From Cassini’s Close Flyby of Rhea”

    1. In a perfect world there would be trio’s of observational satellites around each of the planets by now…

  1. These images of Saturn & its moons are really fantastic! Bravo for the Cassini imaging team! Hurrahs for Emily also for making the images so easy available to us on her blog & finally for Nancy & her brilliant commentaries as always!

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