CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Virgil's Moon

When naming features on other worlds, scientists like to follow themes, and Dione (1,123 kilometers, 698 miles across) is no exception. Dione possesses numerous features with names from Virgil's "Aeneid." The prominent crater showing a central peak below center is Dido, a 118-kilometer (73-mile) wide crater named after the supposed founder of Carthage. The crater just above Dido is Antenor, an 82-kilometer (51-mile) wide impact crater named after the nephew of Priam who founded the Italian city of Padua. At upper right is the 97-kilometer (60-mile) wide impact crater Turnus, which lies at the western end of Carthage Linea, a region of bright, fractured terrain.

The sunlit terrain seen here shows some of the wispy markings on the moon's trailing hemisphere. Cassini revealed that these markings are actually a complex system of fractures.

North on Dione is up and rotated 25 degrees to the left.

The image was taken in visible light with the narrow angle camera on August 25, 2005, from a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (700,000 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 107 degrees. Resolution in the original image was 7 kilometers (4 miles) per pixel. The image has been magnified by a factor of two and contrast-enhanced to aid visibility.

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: October 7, 2005 (PIA 07603)
Image/Caption Information
  Virgil's Moon
PIA 07603

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