CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Aligned Moons
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Aligned Moons
PIA 07525

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  Cassini looks toward Saturn's night side in this view, capturing a glimpse of Dione's tortured surface in the foreground and a far-off view of Epimetheus beyond the planet. The spacecraft was just a tenth of a degree above the ringplane when this image was taken.

Parts of Dione's (1,123 kilometers, 698 miles across) surface have been stretched and ripped apart by tectonic forces. Some of these faults are visible here, as is a large impact basin (not seen in Voyager images) near the moon's south pole. Although this crater's diameter has not yet been measured by imaging scientists, it appears to be wider than 250 kilometers (155 miles), which would make it the largest impact structure yet identified on this moon.

Epimetheus (113 kilometers, 70 miles across) presents a similar face here to that revealed in a spectacular false-color view from March, 2005 (see PIA06226).

The image was taken in visible light with the narrow angle camera on May 5, 2005, from a distance of approximately 910,000 kilometers (570,000 miles) from Dione, 1.4 million kilometers (900,000 miles) from Epimetheus and 1.3 million kilometers (800,000 miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 5 kilometers (3 miles) per pixel on Dione and 1,123 kilometers (698 miles) per pixel on Epimetheus.

[Caption updated on October 5, 2005.]

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: June 21, 2005 (PIA 07525)
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