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Cassini Detailed View of Dione.


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Cassini.
Cassini Spacecraft.

Cassini took this amazing photograph of Dione, one of Saturn's larger moons, on October 27 when it was 1.2 million km (746,000 miles) away. Voyager first saw the craters and bright, wispy streaks on its surface 24 years ago. Cassini is expected to do much much better, though, when it makes a close pass to the Moon in mid-December, 2004.

A gorgeous Dione poses for Cassini, with shadowed craters and bright, wispy streaks first observed by the Voyager spacecraft 24 years ago. The wispy areas will be imaged at higher resolution in mid-December 2004. Subtle variations in brightness across the surface of this Moon are visible here as well. Dione's diameter is 1,118 kilometers, (695 miles).

The image shows primarily the trailing hemisphere of Dione, which is the side opposite the moon's direction of motion in its orbit. The image has been rotated so that north is up.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on Oct. 27, 2004, at a distance of about 1.2 million kilometers (746,000 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 28 degrees. The image scale is 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) per pixel.

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 Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and the Cassini imaging team home page, http://ciclops.org.




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