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A gorgeous Dione (1,123 kilometers, 698 miles across) poses for Cassini, with shadowed craters and bright, wispy streaks first observed by the Voyager spacecraft 24 years ago. The wispy areas will be imaged at higher resolution in mid-December 2004. Subtle variations in brightness across the surface of this moon are visible here as well.
The image shows primarily the trailing hemisphere of Dione, which is the side opposite the moon's direction of motion in its orbit. The image has been rotated so that north is up.
The image was taken in visible light with the narrow angle camera on October 27, 2004, from a distance of about 1.2 million kilometers (746,000 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 28 degrees. The image scale is 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) per pixel.
[Caption updated on October, 4 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.