The Color of Rhea

Color-composite of Rhea, Saturn's second-largest moon.

If someone were to ask you today what the most heavily-cratered world in the Solar System is, you can’t go wrong with saying “why, Rhea of course!”

(I don’t know why someone would ask you that, but if anyone does you can now consider yourself well-prepared.) 🙂

This is a color composite image of Rhea (pronounced REE-ah) I made from raw images acquired by the Cassini spacecraft on March 29, 2012, during one of its most recent flybys.

Even though Rhea is Saturn’s second-largest moon, at about 950 miles (1525 km) wide it is less than a third the size of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Rhea is very reflective, indicating that it is made up of a lot of water ice — which behaves like solid rock at the low temperatures found there. Typical Rhean temperatures can range from -280º to -360º F… brrrr!

Read more about Rhea here, and check out more recent images from Cassini on my post on Universe Today.

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute. Color composite by Jason Major.


  1. El Guapo says:

    Thank you. Now I realize why I got such odd looks when I answered that question (which was asked of me once) with G. Gordon Liddy.


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