CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Down Dione Way

Down Dione Way
PIA 11510

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  Looking down toward the north pole of the moon Dione, Cassini sights wispy features.

These linea cover the trailing hemisphere of the moon. Cassini high resolution images revealed these bright features to be geologically young fractures exposing the icy surface of the moon. (See PIA07638).

Lit terrain seen here is mostly on the Saturn-facing side of Dione (1123 kilometers, 698 miles across), but the wispy area is on the moon's trailing hemisphere. The north pole lies on the terminator about a quarter of the way inward from the top of the image. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 2, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.4 million kilometers (870,000 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 88 degrees. Image scale is 8 kilometers (5 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: June 9, 2009 (PIA 11510)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
mipsandbips (Jun 10, 2009 at 7:42 PM):
These wisps that have originated from the tectonic fractures on the surface of Dione are in some ways similar to the "tiger paw" fractures on Enceladus. From this distance, the image of Dione clearly shows those wisps as distinct from contrasting moon surface of Dione.