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Appearing like the swirls of marble, the wispy terrain of Saturn's moon Dione is captured in a dramatic display of light and dark.
These wispy features are a system of braided canyons with bright walls. See PIA06163 for a closeup view. This view looks toward the area between the trailing hemisphere and Saturn-facing side of Dione (1123 kilometers, 698 miles across). North on Dione is up and rotated 1 degree to the left.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 26, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 644,000 kilometers (400,000 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 2 degrees. Image scale is 4 kilometers (2 miles) per pixel.
The Cassini Equinox Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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.