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Cassini Captures Stunning Closeup Shots of Rhea

posted: 03/31/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Cassini's view of Rhea
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

NASA's Cassini spacecraft had an impressive view of Rhea on its way back to Saturn's equatorial plane. Taken in February, these images of Saturn's second-largest moon are the highest-resolution color photographs of the icy celestial body released to date. Cassini's brief sojourn around Rhea was one of very few encounters with an icy moon in two years.

The ninth largest moon in the solar system, heavily cratered Rhea is composed primarily of ice and rock. In 2010, Cassini discovered evidence to support the existence of an exosphere comprised of carbon dioxide and oxygen, making Rhea the only moon with an oxygen exosphere. Rhea closely resembles Dione, another one of Saturn's natural satellites, which leads astronomers to believe that they may have formed under similar conditions.

Click here for more information from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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