CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

In the Groove
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Cassini continues to prove that, the closer one views the myriad worlds comprising the Saturn system, the more interesting and varied the views become. This close-up view of icy Dione reveals a wonderful variety of surface features that are simultaneously familiar and unlike any other place in the solar system.

The terrain in this image is located within a 60-kilometer (37-mile) wide impact crater along the feature called Padua Linea. The western rim of the encompassing crater runs from middle left to upper right. The crater's central peak can be seen at lower right.

Multiple generations of fractures are visible here. Numerous fine, roughly parallel linear grooves run across the terrain from top to bottom and are interrupted by the larger irregular bright fractures. In several places, fractures postdate some deposits in the bottoms of craters that are not badly degraded by time. Such a fracture, for example, runs from center toward upper right.

Most of the craters seen here have bright walls and dark deposits of material on their floors. As on other Saturnian moons, rock slides on Dione may reveal cleaner ice, while the darker materials accumulate in areas of lower topography and lower slope (e.g. crater floors and the bases of scarps).

This view is centered on terrain near 11 degrees south latitude, 238 degrees west longitude.

The clear filter image was taken using the narrow angle camera on October 11, 2005, during Cassini's close targeted flyby of Dione. The image was acquired from a distance of 4,486 kilometers (2,787 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 10 degrees. The image scale is 23 meters (75 feet) 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.

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

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: October 17, 2005 (PIA 07748)
Image/Caption Information
  In the Groove
PIA 07748

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Alliance Member Comments
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Oct 11, 2008 at 5:55 PM):
Another fascinating extraterrestrial landscape, this time on Dione ! There are features indicating icy processes that are absent on Earth.

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