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Wispy Terrain on Dione.

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Saturn's Moon Dione.
Saturn's Moon Dione. Image credit: NASA/JPL/SSI.

In this Cassini image of Saturn's Moon Dione, you can see the wispy features that run across its surface. It's also possible to see the craters Dido and Antenor near the moon's terminator at lower left. Cassini took this image on October 9, 2005 from a distance of 1.8 million kilometers (1.1 million miles).

The soft appearance of Dione's wispy terrains belies their true nature. They are, in fact, complex systems of crisp, braided fractures that cover the moon's trailing hemisphere.

(See Dione's Surprise for a closer view of the fractures.)

This view shows the western potion of the wispy terrain on Dione (1,126 kilometers, or 700 miles across). The craters Dido and Antenor can be seen near the terminator at lower left. In the rings above, the dark Cassini Division between the A and B rings is visible.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini narrow-angle camera on Oct. 9, 2005, at a distance of approximately 1.8 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 52 degrees. The image scale is 11 kilometers (7 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 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 operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.

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