CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Battered Dione

Cassini looks down over high northern latitudes on Dione. The view captures terrain stretching from about 30 degrees south latitude to about 65 degrees north latitude on the moon's Saturn-facing side.

Cassini obtained this view from a position 48 degrees above the equator of Dione (1,123 kilometers, 698 miles across). North is up.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 3, 2008. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 129,000 kilometers (80,000 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 87 degrees. Image scale is 767 meters (0.5 mile) 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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: February 5, 2008 (PIA 09830)
Image/Caption Information
  Battered Dione
PIA 09830

Avg Rating: 8.08/10

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Alliance Member Comments
Mercury_3488 (Feb 16, 2008 at 8:07 AM):
Cheers bruno.thiery.

I find Dione to be one of Saturn's more interesting moons & am very happy to see that Dione is included in the extended mission of Cassini.

I can see some similarity between Dione & the Uranus moon Ariel. Bother are approx the same size, density & mass (Ariel slightly greater in all counts but only just) & both appear to have had more than just impact cratering happen.

I suspect that BOTH are still active. I am currently re-examining Voyager 2 imagery of Ariel along with Cassini imagery of Dione & many similarities jump out as well as some fundemental differences
(Ariel has tall mountains, Dione does not, Ariel's canyons are wider than Dione's, but on both the canyons are the same general shape & follow the same general alignment).

A very good decision Carolyn, thank you.

Once again, thank you bruno.thiery.

Andrew Brown.
bruno.thiery (Feb 8, 2008 at 1:18 PM):
Hi 3488,
just to locate, I think the large crater you see on the terminator is Aeneas.
The large twins at the bottom centre are Romulus & Remus and the large crater at their bottom right (almost on the edge) is Dido.
Leading hemisphere is in the night. Trailing side on the right, in full day. If I read my map correctly...
Mercury_3488 (Feb 5, 2008 at 2:33 PM):
Nice image for today. This part of Dione does look a little more primitive than much of the ice / rock world.

There appears to be some evidence of a younger region near the top of the image & again lower down appearing a little smoother, with smaller craters.

I assume if this is the Saturn facing hemisphere, than that must be the dawn terminator & the trailing side?

If so, perhaps like Enceladus, Dione has rolled over as some trailing terrain seems more heavily cratered than the leading side. The leading hemisphere is expected to meet impactors head on & meet more of them, so in theory should have received a greater battering?

Just my musings for today.