NASA releases images of Saturn moon

March 13, 2012 at 4:09 PM
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PASADENA, Calif., March 13 (UPI) -- NASA says its Cassini spacecraft has captured new images of Saturn's second-largest moon, Rhea, in a global geologic mapping fly-by at 26,000 miles distance.

The images taken Saturday included a 30-frame mosaic of Rhea's leading hemisphere and the side of the moon that faces away from Saturn, a release from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said.

The images show two large impact basins, the 300-mile-wide Mimaldi basin and the 200-mile Tirawa basin.

Also seen in the images is the crater Inktomi, 29 miles wide and one of the youngest surface features on Rhea, JPL researchers said.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.

Rhea, about 950 miles in diameter, is one of four moons of Saturn first observed in 1672 by Italian astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini.

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