Follow this link to skip to the main content

Target 2: Rhea and Titan

Target 2: Rhea and Titan

Nimisha Mittal

Science Planning Engineer

Computer simulation of Target 2: Rhea and Titan
Software used by the Cassini science planning team simulates the field of view the cameras on board the Cassini spacecraft can capture at a specific date and time. This is a computer-generated image of Rhea and Titan as seen by the Cassini spacecraft's Narrow Angle Camera on Sept. 17, 2001.
+ Click on the image for a larger view

Hi! My name is Nimisha and I'm a science planning and sequencing engineer.

My job is to work with Cassini's science team to plan and coordinate observations, and to create commands that tell the spacecraft what to do.

I think target number 2 is the best of the three choices. Cassini will image Rhea and Titan, two of Saturn's most interesting moons.

For one thing, it will make an absolutely stunning image, with Rhea and the mysterious Titan 'posing' next to each other.

I know I would love to have a poster like that in my house.

Aside from its beauty, these images can help scientists in many ways.

Saturn's largest moon, Titan, has a very dense and dynamic atmosphere.

The image will provide scientists an opportunity to observe the clouds and constantly changing weather.

Rhea, which is Saturn's second largest moon, is very different from Titan.

It is like a frozen dirty snowball, and has no atmosphere.

As a result, it has a 'hard limb,' that is, a clearly-defined edge, which makes determining its exact position quite easy.

This image can, therefore, be used for precise orbit determination of Rhea.

There are still plenty of questions surrounding this intriguing moon.

Rhea's surface is covered with craters, just like Earth's moon.

Scientists are still trying to figure out how often the surface is bombarded with meteors, and how Rhea interacts with the magnetic field surrounding Saturn.

Target number 2 is the best choice, because it will not only help us learn more about Rhea and Titan, but also make a beautiful picture.

Good luck!