The Sciences

Happy Valentine's Day. Love, Rhea

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitFeb 14, 2010 5:03 PM

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Same shape, different moon... An interplanetary dedication of love for all you starry-eyed geeks:

This is an image from Cassini. It's a closeup of a crater on Rhea, a moon of Saturn about half the size of our own natural satellite. I love how the small crater and ridge inside the bigger crater make it look like the heart is winking! In the full size image you can see what looks like a ridge to the left of the heart, but in fact that's the edge of a vast crater on the surface of Rhea. You can see it better in this image of the whole moon, where I've marked the location of the heart:

I don't know exactly what's going on with this heart; is it a crater that expanded when the walls collapsed around it, so it's no longer round? Or is it a sink hole, where the whole thing is a collapse feature? I love pictures like this, showing us the diversity and cool-factor of other worlds in our solar system. And, of course: Happy Valentine's Day.

Related posts:Have a cosmic Valentine's DayScientific ValentinesThe beating heart of W5Have an astronomical Valentine's Day

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