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 living in Tucson, Arizona. His poetry has been published in Impossible Archetype and is forthcoming from The Laurel Review. A piece of flash fiction is forthcoming from Cold Creek Review. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published online at Tiny Donkey and Fairy Tale Review’s “Fairy-Tale Files.” Richard is also Downlink Lead for HiRISE at the University of Arizona. View all posts by Richard Leis