With this full-disk mosaic, Cassini presents the best view yet of the south pole of Saturn's moon Tethys. The giant rift Ithaca Chasma cuts across the disk. Much of the topography seen here, including that of Ithaca Chasma, has a soft, muted appearance. It is clearly very old and has been heavily bombarded by impacts over time.
Many of the fresh-appearing craters (ones with crisp relief) exhibit unusually bright crater floors. The origin of the apparent brightness (or "albedo") contrast is not known. It is possible that impacts punched through to a brighter layer underneath, or perhaps it is brighter because of different grain sizes or textures of the crater floor material in comparison to material along the crater walls and surrounding surface.
The mosaic is composed of nine images taken during Cassini's close flyby of Tethys (1,071 kilometers, or 665 miles across) on Sept. 24, 2005, during which the spacecraft passed approximately 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) above the moon's surface.
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Image and describtion credits: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
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