CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Dione on a Diagonal

Saturn and Dione appear askew in this Cassini view with the north poles rotated to the right, as if they were threaded along on the thin diagonal line of the planet's rings.

This view looks toward the anti-Saturn side of Dione (698 miles, 1123 kilometers across). North on Dione is up and rotated 20 degrees to the right. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from less than one degree above the ring plane.

The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Dec. 12, 2011. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 35,000 miles (57,000 kilometers) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 41 degrees. Image scale is 2 miles (3 kilometers) per pixel on Dione.

The Cassini Solstice 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 Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: January 30, 2012 (PIA 14593)
Image/Caption Information
  Dione on a Diagonal
PIA 14593

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Alliance Member Comments
NeKto (Mar 3, 2012 at 7:53 AM):
Just read on the NASA site today; Dione has an oxygen exoshpere.
the Saturn system is full of interesting, and often surprising, objects.
Ed Rolko (Jan 30, 2012 at 2:44 PM):
Wow great resolution, what a shot!