New Images Indicate Tectonic Activity on Rhea

Hemispheric color differences on Saturn’s moon Rhea are apparent in this false-color view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. This image shows the side of the moon that always faces the planet. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/SSI

Saturn’s second largest moon Rhea has gotten a couple of close-up looks by the Cassini spacecraft which show dramatic views of fractures cutting through craters on the moon’s surface. The new images reveal a history of tectonic rumbling, scientists say. The images are among the highest-resolution views ever obtained of Rhea, including a 3-D look at a tectonically fractured region showing cracks as deep as 4 kilometers (2.5 miles).

“These recent, high-resolution Cassini images help us put Saturn’s moon in the context of the moons’ geological family tree,” said Paul Helfenstein, Cassini imaging team associate, based at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. “Since NASA’s Voyager mission visited Saturn, scientists have thought of Rhea and Dione as close cousins, with some differences in size and density. The new images show us they’re more like fraternal twins, where the resemblance is more than skin deep. This probably comes from their nearness to each other in orbit.” (…) Read the rest of New Images Indicate Tectonic Activity on Rhea (706 words)

* * *

(C) nancy for Universe Today, 2010. | Permalink | No comment | Add to del.icio.us Post

Feed enhanced by Better Feed from Ozh

URL: http://www.universetoday.com/81856/new-images-indicate-tectonic-activity-on-rhea/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *