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Cassini prepared for its rendezvous with Dione on Oct. 11, 2005, capturing the brilliant, cratered iceball in front of its shadow-draped planet.
The terrain seen here becomes notably darker toward the west, and is crosscut by the bright, fresh canyons that form wispy markings on Dione's (1,123 kilometers, 698 miles across) trailing hemisphere.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini wide-angle camera at a distance of approximately 24,500 kilometers (15,200 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 22 degrees. The image scale is about 2 kilometers (1 mile) per pixel.
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.