CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Flying over Dione
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Cassini swooped in for a close-up of the cratered, fractured surface of Saturn's moon Dione in this image taken during the spacecraft's Jan. 27, 2010, non-targeted flyby.

Cassini came within about 45,000 kilometers (28,000 miles) of the moon during this flyby, and this image was acquired at a distance of approximately 46,000 kilometers (29,000 miles). See PIA07749 for an older, closer view of Dione.

This view looks toward the leading hemisphere of Dione (1123 kilometers, 698 miles across). North on Dione is up. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera. The view was acquired at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 108 degrees. Image scale is 270 meters (887 feet) 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.

For more information about the Cassini Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: June 25, 2010 (PIA 12663)
Image/Caption Information
  Flying over Dione
PIA 12663

Avg Rating: 9.52/10

Full Size 1018x1018:
PNG 641 KB

Alliance Member Comments
Mercury_3488 (Jun 27, 2010 at 10:25 AM):
Love this image, exquisite. I would recommend EVERYONE on here to look at ALL of the raw images from this date of Dione. Although 'only' a mid distance untargeted pass, the quality of the material returned is outstanding. Dione was seen in the high northern latitudes at high resolution for the first time ever & it confirms my suspisions that Dione was active until fairly recent geologically times & also confirms that Dione has 'rolled', i.e the greatest densities of impact craters are NOT on the leading side. Similar has been seen with our own Moon, Enceladus & the Uranus moon Miranda.

Just to say Carolyn, the JPL Cassini Raw Images page is not working, or at least for me anyway.

Andrew Brown.
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Jun 26, 2010 at 10:55 AM):
Very interesting image of Dione.
PolishBear (Jun 25, 2010 at 12:37 PM):
Winding down Dione's surface, on the left side of the photo, is a very interesting system of fractures. Some of the cliffs look like they are miles high! I wonder what might have caused this.

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