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Cassini Captures Shining Crater on Saturn's Moon


NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured a brilliant image of a huge crater on Saturn's icy moon Tethys, reported the Christian Science Monitor.

Cassini took the photo on May 9, when it was about 186,000 miles (300,000 km) away from Tethys. The stunning photo capture has a resolution of about 1.1 miles (1.8 km) per pixel.

The impact basin on Tethys is called Odysseus and is at 280 miles (450 kilometers) across. It is brighter than the landscape surrounding it.

Odysseus (280 miles, or 450 kilometers, across) is one of the largest impact craters on Saturn's moons, and the crater may have significantly brought about a change in the geologic history of Tethys.

"This distinct coloration may result from differences in either the composition or structure of the terrain exposed by the giant impact," NASA officials wrote.

Odysseus "is one of the largest impact craters on Saturn's icy moons, and may have significantly altered the geologic history of Tethys," NASA officials added.

The Cassini-Huygens mission, launched in 1997, is a collaboration involving NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.

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