CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Dione's Surprise

Dione's Surprise
PIA 06162

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  As it closed in on Dione for a close flyby, Cassini captured a set of images of the icy moon which have been mosaicked together here to make a stunningly detailed global view. Five narrow angle frames comprise this view of the `wispy terrain' on the anti-Saturn side of Dione. To the surprise of Cassini imaging scientists, the wispy terrain does not consist of thick ice deposits, but rather the bright ice cliffs created by tectonic fractures. The surface is also clearly very heavily cratered.

The image scale is 0.9 kilometers (0.6 miles) per pixel; the phase angle is 34 degrees.

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: December 16, 2004 (PIA 06162)
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