Rhea might otherwise be the most boring of the Saturnian moons, what with its ancient craters, airless surface, and lack of any recent activity. But therein lies the mystery. Why are there two distinct regions of craters, suggesting an early resurfacing event, and what are the wispy features on the surface that resemble the more prominent wispy features on Dione? The next Cassini flyby will be of Rhea, and it will occur on November 26, 2005. The distance above the surface will only be 500 kilometers (300 miles) and will likely provide new answers to old questions and new questions with no current answers.
Richard Leis is a writer and poet. His first published poem, "Roadside Freak Show," arrives on August 21, 2017 in Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (richardleis.com), on Goodreads (richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr). View all posts by Richard Leis