Wisps Before Craters
January 31, 2011
Saturn's ''wispy'' moon Dione lies in front of the cratered surface of the moon Tethys, as seen by the Cassini spacecraft.
Dione is closest to the spacecraft here. At the top of the image, the bright ''wispy'' fractures are visible on Dione (1,123 kilometers, or 698 miles, across). See Dione's Icy Wisps and Highest Resolution View of Dione to learn more. Beyond wispy Dione, the large crater Penelope can be seen near the equator of Tethys (1,062 kilometers, or 660 miles, across). See Penelope Crater for a closer view of Penelope.
Lit terrain seen here is on the trailing hemispheres of the two moons. The image was taken in visible red light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 6, 2010.
The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.1 million kilometers (1.3 million miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 75 degrees.
The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.2 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) from Tethys and at a Sun-Tethys-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 75 degrees. Scale in the original image was 12 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel on Dione and 13 kilometers (8 miles) per pixel on Tethys. The image was contrast enhanced and magnified by a factor of two to enhance the visibility of surface features.
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 in Washington. 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.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute