Appearing like the swirls of marble, the wispy terrain of Saturn's moon Dione is captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft in a dramatic display of light and dark. These wispy features are a system of braided canyons with bright walls.

Appearing like the swirls of marble, the wispy terrain of Saturn's moon Dione is captured in a dramatic display of light and dark.

These wispy features are a system of braided canyons with bright walls. See PIA06163 for a closeup view. This view looks toward the area between the trailing hemisphere and Saturn-facing side of Dione (1,123 kilometers, or 698 miles across). North on Dione is up and rotated 1 degree to the left.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 26, 2009. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 644,000 kilometers (400,000 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 2 degrees. Image scale is 4 kilometers (2 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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