Ancient Rift
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Ancient Rift

September 9, 2008

Powerful forces ripped apart the surface of Tethys at some time in the deep past, creating the incredible canyon system of Ithaca Chasma. This view shows nearly the full extent of Ithaca Chasma, which slices across more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) of the moon's icy surface.

The canyons are peppered with many impact craters, which obliterate the older tectonic features and attest to the rift's great age.

This view is centered on 30 degrees north latitude, 350 degrees west longitude, on the Saturn-facing side of Tethys (1,062 kilometers, or 660 miles across). North is toward the top and rotated 9 degrees to the right. The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 28, 2008. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 163,000 kilometers (101,000 miles) from Tethys and at a Sun-Tethys-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 36 degrees. Image scale is 971 meters (3,186 feet) per pixel.

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