Thursday, August 25, 2005

New Rhea Image: Above Rhea's South Pole

This global view of Rhea, taken on July 14, was released today by CICLOPS. This image, with a resolution of 2 km/pixel, shows the south polar region of Rhea, an area not seen at decent resolution before this non-targeted encounter. Very few non-impact related features are seen in this view, indicating that Rhea has a very ancient surface. A fairly young crater with bright ejecta extending for hundreds of kilometers can be seen at upper right. This impact crater has been seen on numerous occasions, and higher resolution images show that the crater has an irregular margin, perhaps indicating that while young, the impact has undergone alteration since formation. The fact that nearly all craters on Rhea show irregular outlines may also be an indication that something about Rhea's surface leads to the formation of irregular shaped craters.


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