CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Icy Crescent
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Icy Crescent
PIA 07745

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  As it departed its encounter with Dione, Cassini sailed above an unreal landscape blasted by impacts. The rising Sun throws craters into sharp contrast and reveals steep crater walls.

At far right, a medium-sized crater is bisected by a fracture, revealing a cross-section of the impact site.

The seven clear filter images in the mosaic were taken with the narrow angle camera on October 11, 2005 from distances ranging from of 21,650 to 25,580 kilometers (13,450 to 15,890 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 154 degrees. Resolution in the original images ranges from 126-154 meters (413-505 feet) per pixel; the images have been re-sized to have an image scale of about 100 meters (330 feet) per pixel. North on Dione is 140 degrees to the left.

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 07745)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
Mercury_3488 (Feb 4, 2008 at 5:14 PM):
Yes, this image is also one of my favourites from the mission. Then again I would say that as I find Dione a most fascinating (possble past cryovolcanism) & visually stunning object.
NeKto (Mar 1, 2007 at 10:06 AM):
When i see resolution that shows a small impact crater in the wall of an impact crater i find both the science and the imagery very exciting. (near the "top" of the image if you didn't spot it yourself) please forgive me if my spelling is bad.
carolyn (CICLOPS) (Feb 26, 2007 at 8:40 AM):
I agree with all comments here. Crescent images -- whether they be Dione or Saturn or Titan -- convey such mystery and drama, and this one is one of our best of the icy moons. You really feel like you're flying, at low altitude, over those fresh-walled craters.

And it is remarkable how few people know that we are now exploring Saturn. So all you Alliance members: be sure to get out there and let everybody know!
richie086 (Feb 26, 2007 at 1:34 AM):
i have a dual monitor setup at work and I had this image setup to span across both desktops.. You would never believe how many people would ask me "that's fake, right?".. Or people would just think its the earths moon.. most people are not even aware that there is currently a spacecraft at saturn. Its really sad when such amazing things are going on and most people are not aware.
Red_dragon (Feb 23, 2007 at 7:44 AM):
I agree with the latter comment. Dramatic and epic; I like the "texture" of Dione. It looks as it was made of ice (what actually is) instead of rock.
RobCass (Jan 1, 2007 at 5:01 PM):
This is one of my favorite images from Cassini ! The lighting angle is dramatically !

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