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Portraits of Saturn moons captured by Cassini

Date:
December 13, 2011
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
NASA's Cassini spacecraft successfully completed its closest-ever pass over Saturn's moon Dione on Dec. 12, slaloming its way through the Saturn system on its way to a close flyby of Titan. Cassini is expected to glide about 2,200 miles (3,600 kilometers) over the Titan surface on Dec. 13.

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.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI

NASA's Cassini spacecraft successfully completed its closest-ever pass over Saturn's moon Dione on Dec. 12, slaloming its way through the Saturn system on its way to a 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 .


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Portraits of Saturn moons captured by Cassini." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111213164414.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2011, December 13). Portraits of Saturn moons captured by Cassini. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111213164414.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Portraits of Saturn moons captured by Cassini." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111213164414.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

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