CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
High Contrast Crescent

This high-phase view of Dione shows the great contrast between the highly reflective "wisps" and the surrounding terrain. These wispy linea are geologically young fractures exposing the icy surface of the moon.

Lit terrain seen here is on the trailing hemisphere of Dione (1123 kilometers, 698 miles across). North on Dione is up. The view was acquired from a position 39 degrees south of the moon's equator

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 26, 2008. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 789,000 kilometers (490,000 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 124 degrees. Image scale is 5 kilometers (3 miles) 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: February 12, 2009 (PIA 10577)
Image/Caption Information
  High Contrast Crescent
PIA 10577

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