CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Titan and Dione

Saturn's fourth-largest moon, Dione, can be seen through the haze of the planet's largest moon, Titan, in this view of the two posing before the planet and its rings from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

The north polar hood can be seen on Titan appearing as a detached layer at the top of the moon here. See PIA08137 and PIA09739 to learn more about Titan's atmosphere and the north polar hood.

See PIA10560 and PIA07638 to learn more about and see a closer view of the wisps on Dione's trailing hemisphere, which appear as bright streaks here.

This view looks toward the sides of Titan (3,200 miles or 5,150 kilometers across) and Dione (698 miles or 1,123 kilometers across) facing away from Saturn. North is up on the moons. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ring plane.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were obtained with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 21, 2011, at a distance of approximately 1.4 million miles (2.3 million kilometers) from Titan and 2 million miles (3.2 million kilometers) from Dione. Image scale is 9 miles (14 kilometers) per pixel on Titan and 12 miles (19 kilometers) on Dione.

[Caption updated Jan. 5, 2012.]

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: December 22, 2011 (PIA 14910)
Image/Caption Information
  Titan and Dione
PIA 14910

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Alliance Member Comments
Marcia (Dec 23, 2011 at 11:05 AM):
Holiday Greetings to all!
Wonderful times we're living in when we can be so priviledged to see these images! Thank you CICLOPS team! Seeing these images of our neighbor 'worlds' unlike ours really take my breath away(no pun)... stunning and humbling.
Merry Christmas and may the new year continue to be a prosperous one for all of you and those that visit here to experience this adventure. THANK YOU!
carolyn (CICLOPS) (Dec 22, 2011 at 6:52 PM):
Sergio and company: Every time we release images to the public -- if they are special enough -- they are posted by a `fan' of mine on Facebook under Hope that helps. Enjoy!
jsc248 (Dec 22, 2011 at 5:49 PM):
Hi All,
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all at CASSINI and all around the world.
These images are so beautiful and thought provoking. While I am looking at these I am thinking that these and all of the Solar System and beyond are out there now, endlessly falling through space with the Earth falling with them. I find it absolutely mindbending, the shear beauty of the universe lets the imagination run riot!!
Red_dragon (Dec 22, 2011 at 4:38 PM):
This one is the best of all; just note how looks the haze on Titan's upper atmosphere in front of Saturn.
Sergio (Dec 22, 2011 at 3:24 PM):
Dear Friends, is time to put a Facebook button to share these wonders immediately.
It is quite absurd that one must copy and paste a link to make his friends know about these incredible pictures!
Merry Christmas and splendid new year to you all!

Sergio (Italy)