This intense false-color view highlights and enhances color variations across the cratered and cracked surface of Saturn's moon Rhea.
To create the false-color view, ultraviolet, green and infrared images were combined into a single black and white picture that isolates and maps regional color differences. This "color map" was then superposed over a clear-filter image. The origin of the color differences is not yet understood, but it may be caused by subtle differences in the surface composition or grain sizes making up the icy soil.
This view shows terrain on the trailing hemisphere of Rhea (1,528 kilometers, or 949 miles across). North is up.
The images were taken using the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 18, 2006, at a distance of approximately 268,000 kilometers (166,000 miles) from Rhea and at a Sun-Rhea-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 115 degrees. Image scale is 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) per pixel.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.cfm. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.