Portraits of Moons Captured by Cassini

NASA's Cassini spacecraft obtained this unprocessed image  on  Dec. 12, 2011 NASA's Cassini spacecraft obtained this unprocessed image on Dec. 12, 2011. The camera was pointing toward Saturn's moon Dione from approximately 69,989 miles (112,636 kilometers) away. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI
› Full image and caption
  • submit to reddit

December 12, 2011

NASA's Cassini spacecraft successfully completed its closest-ever pass over Saturn's moon Dione on Monday, Dec. 12, slaloming its way through the Saturn system on its way to tomorrow's close flyby of Titan. Cassini is expected to glide about 2,200 miles (3,600 kilometers) over the Titan surface on Dec. 13.

In the selection of the raw images obtained during the Cassini Dione flyby, Dione is sometimes joined by other moons. Mimas appears just beyond the dark side of Dione in one view. In another view, Epimetheus and Pandora appear together, along with Saturn's rings.

This Dione encounter was intended primarily for Cassini's composite infrared spectrometer and radio science subsystem. However, the imaging team did capture views of the distinctive, wispy fractures on the side of Dione that always trails in its orbit around Saturn. It also obtained images of a ridge called Janiculum Dorsa on the hemisphere of Dione that always leads in its orbit around Saturn. While other flybys produced more detailed views of the surface, the best resolved images from this flyby have scales ranging from about 1,100 feet (350 meters) to about 1,600 feet (500 meters) per pixel. Janiculum Dorsa will be imaged by Cassini at higher resolution in May 2012.

All of Cassini's raw images can be seen at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/photos/raw/ .

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena manages the mission for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations team is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. JPL is a division of Caltech.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and http://www.nasa.gov/cassini .

Jia-Rui Cook 818-354-0850
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
jccook@jpl.nasa.gov

2011-385

Images

NASA's Cassini spacecraft obtained this unprocessed image on Dec. 12, 2011

NASA's Cassini spacecraft obtained this unprocessed image on Dec. 12, 2011. The camera was pointing toward Saturn's moon Dione from approximately 48,236 miles (77,682 kilometers) away. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI
› Full image and caption

enlarge image

NASA's Cassini spacecraft obtained this unprocessed image on Dec. 12, 2011

NASA's Cassini spacecraft obtained this unprocessed image on Dec. 12, 2011. The camera was pointing toward Saturn's moon Dione from approximately 76,344 miles (122,864 kilometers) away. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI
› Full image and caption

enlarge image



North Polar View Cassini Finds Hints of Activity at Saturn Moon Dione

› Read more

Raw, unprocessed image of Enceladus Cassini, Saturn Moon Photographer

› Read more

This view highlights tectonic faults and craters on Dione, an icy world that has undoubtedly experienced geologic activity since its formation. Cassini Detects Hint of Fresh Air at Dione

› Read more


Get JPL Updates
Sign Up for JPL UpdatesRegister today and receive up-to-the-minute e-mail alerts delivered directly to your inbox.
Sign Up for JPL Updates