December 17, 2004
As it zoomed in on Saturn's moon Dione for a close flyby, the Cassini spacecraft captured a set of images of the icy moon which have been combined into a mosaic here to provide a stunningly detailed global view.
Five narrow angle frames comprise this view of the `wispy terrain' on the anti-Saturn side of Dione. To the surprise of Cassini imaging scientists, the wispy terrain does not consist of thick ice deposits, but rather the bright ice cliffs created by tectonic fractures. The surface is also clearly very heavily cratered. The image scale is 0.9 kilometers (0.6 miles) per pixel; the phase angle is 34 degrees.
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 team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute