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The cratered and cracked disk of Dione looms ahead in these mosaics of images taken by Cassini on October 11, 2005 as it neared its close encounter with the icy moon.
The images used for the first mosaic are clear filter views, which reveal a great deal of surface detail. In the false color mosaic, the clear filter images are overlain by color composited from (compressed) infrared, green and ultraviolet images. The colors have been specially processed to accentuate subtle changes in the spectral properties of Dione's surface materials.
To create the color view, the color images (UV3, GRN, and IR3) were combined into a single black and white picture that isolates and maps regional color differences. This "color map" was then superposed over the clear-filter mosaic. Gaps in the imaging coverage appear black.
Multiple generations of tectonics can be seen in this full-disk view. Near the eastern limb (at right) are tectonic fractures, which may be similar to the bright, braided canyons that make up Dione's noted wispy terrain. Some of the bright, wispy markings can be seen at left.
The softer ridges and troughs at upper right appear to be about the same age as the cratering seen in that region. These appear to be older than the fracturing seen in the wispy terrain and the fractures seen at right.
Scientists continue to be intrigued by the strikingly linear features seen crisscrossing the southern latitudes. The fine latitudinal streaks appear to crosscut everything, and appear to be the youngest feature type in this region of Dione.
A large impact basin hugs the south polar region (at bottom, right of center). Northeast of the basin is a region of terrain that is relatively smooth, compared to the rest of the moon.
This view of Dione is centered on 1.3 degrees south latitude, 167.6 degrees west longitude.
The images in the mosaic were obtained with the narrow angle camera from distances ranging from of 55,280 to 27,180 kilometers (34,350 to 16,890 miles) from Dione. The full-size versions of the mosaics have an image scale of 316 meters (1,036 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.