At top of this image, Saturn's moon Dione may appear closer to the spacecraft because it is larger than the moon Enceladus in the lower left. However, Enceladus was actually closer to the spacecraft in this image captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
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Dione's Deception

On the top right of this Cassini spacecraft image, Saturn's moon Dione may appear closer to the spacecraft because it is larger than the moon Enceladus in the lower left. However, Enceladus was actually closer to the spacecraft when this image was captured.

Dione (1,123 kilometers, or 698 miles, across) is actually more than twice the size of Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 313 miles, across). Dione's bright "wispy" terrain can be seen here. See PIA10560 and PIA06163 to learn more about this terrain. This view looks toward the area between the trailing hemisphere and Saturn-facing side of Dione.

The highly reflective surface of Enceladus also stands out here. This view looks toward the trailing hemisphere of Enceladus.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 1, 2010. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 510,000 kilometers (317,000 miles) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 7 degrees. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 830,000 kilometers (516,000 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 8 degrees. Image scale is 3 kilometers (2 miles) per pixel on Enceladus and 5 kilometers (3 miles) per pixel on Dione.

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.

Image details

ID#:
PIA12749

Date added:
2011-01-17

Target:
Dione

Mission:
Cassini-Huygens

Spacecraft:
Cassini Orbiter

Instruments:
Imaging Science Subsystem - Narrow Angle

Rating:



Views:
2,767

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA12749.tif (0.64 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA12749.jpg (0.02 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute