Like other Cronian satellites, Rhea has a rather heavily cratered surface, and a few large fractures on its trailing hemisphere. Rhea also has two very – the Tirawa crater (similar to Odysseus on Tethys) and an as-yet unnamed crater – that measure 400 and 500 km across, respectively.
In June of 2004, the space probe entered the Saturn system and conducted a close flyby of Phoebe, sending back high-resolution images and data. By July 1st, 2004, the probe entered orbit around Saturn, and by December, it had completed two flybys of Titan before releasing the Huygens probe. This lander reached the surface and began transmitting data on the atmospheric and surface by by Jan. 14th, 2005. has since conducted multiple flybys of Titan and other icy satellites.
In addition, photographs have revealed a previously undiscovered planetary ring, eight new satellites, and evidence of hydrocarbon lakes and seas near Titan’s north pole. The probe was also responsible for sending back high-resolution images of the intense storm activity at Saturn’s northern and southern poles.
From being a very important part of the astrological systems of many cultures to becoming the subject of ongoing scientific fascination, Saturn continues to occupy a special place in our hearts and minds. Whether it’s Saturn’s fantastically large and beautiful ring system, its many many moons, its tempestuous weather, or its curious composition, this gas giant continues to fascinate and inspire.
|Mass (Earth = 1)||9.5181e+01|
|Equatorial radius (km)||60,268|
|Equatorial radius (Earth = 1)||9.4494e+00|
|Mean density (gm/cm^3)||0.69|
|Mean distance from the Sun (km)||1,429,400,000|
|Mean distance from the Sun (Earth = 1)||9.5388|
|Rotational period (hours)||10.233|
|Orbital period (years)||29.458|
|Mean orbital velocity (km/sec)||9.67|
|Tilt of axis (degrees)||25.33|
|Orbital inclination (degrees)||2.488|
|Equatorial surface gravity (m/sec^2)||9.05|
|Equatorial escape velocity (km/sec)||35.49|
|Visual geometric albedo||0.47|
|Mean cloud temperature||-125°C|
|Atmospheric pressure (bars)||1.4|