NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Saturn's Full Moon: Rhea Shines Bright for Cassini

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

This newly-released observation of Saturn’s second largest moon could be mistaken for our own moon hanging in the night sky. Although it may lack the tell-tail Mare Imbrium (Sea of Showers) or famous Tycho Crater, the rocky surface of Rhea is still pockmarked with craters that etch its ancient surface with solar system history. The Saturn-facing hemisphere is almost totally bathed in sunlight.

PHOTOS: Moons of Saturn

Rhea is 949 miles (1,527 kilometers) wide, less than half the size of our moon, which measures 2,159 miles (3,475 kilometers) wide. Snapped by Cassini’s narrow-angle camera on Sept. 10, 2013, the Saturn-orbiting spacecraft was approximately 990,000 miles (1.6 million kilometers) from Rhea.

Read more about the Cassini Solstice mission and vie high-resolution versions of this observation via Cassini’s mission site.

More from Cassini:

  • Cassini Snaps Breathtaking Photo of Saturn

  • Cassini Photographs Saturn’s Stunning Hexagon

  • Cassini’s Festive Tour of Spectacular Saturn: Photos