Bright Lines, Dark Canvas
June 23, 2008
The bright fractures on Dione's trailing side slice across terrain that is darker than the rest of the surface.
Cassini scientists are working to understand the nature of the dark material that appears to coat the surfaces of several of Saturn's moons. Only after the Cassini spacecraft began imaging Dione did they realize that the prominent "streaks" shown here are fractures on the surface.
Lit terrain seen here is on the Saturn-facing side of Dione (1,123 kilometers, or 698 miles across). North is up.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 17, 2008. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 873,000 kilometers (543,000 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 47 degrees. Image scale is 5 kilometers (3 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.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute