CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
In the Company of Dione

NASA's Cassini imaging scientists processed this view of Saturn's moon Dione, taken during a close flyby on June 16, 2015. This was Cassini's fourth targeted flyby of Dione and had a close approach altitude of 321 miles (516 kilometers) from Dione's surface.

Also making an appearance in this image is Saturn's geysering moon Enceladus, seen in the upper right, just above the bright line of Saturn's rings.

North on Dione is up and rotated 44 degrees to the left. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on June 16, 2015.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 48,000 miles (77,000 kilometers) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 128 degrees. Image scale is 3 miles (5 kilometers) per pixel.

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/SSI
Released: June 18, 2015 (Happy 73rd Birthday, Paul McCartney!) (PIA 17196)
Image/Caption Information
  In the Company of Dione
PIA 17196

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Alliance Member Comments
Robert (Jun 22, 2015 at 7:22 PM):
This is one of the most spookiest, beautiful and ethereal images of Saturn with a single moon I have seen. The dark, looming mass of Saturn, the dominant crescent of Dione dwarfed by its maternal planet, and the sharply clear line of the rings.

This is one of those "Kandinskiesque" images that Cassini has delivered so often. That wonderful balance of "point, line and plane" that epitomized that particular artist's work and is so dramatically created by nature and captured by human ingenuity in this image.

The wonders that I have been allowed to perceive with Cassini are one of the many reasons why I admire the science of space exploration.