NASA Releases Stunning Image of Dione Bisected by Saturn's Rings

Thursday, 18 February 2016 - 10:31AM
Space
Astronomy
Space Imagery
Thursday, 18 February 2016 - 10:31AM
NASA Releases Stunning Image of Dione Bisected by Saturn's Rings
Saturn's icy moon Dione is always in close proximity to Saturn's beautiful rings, but now NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured the natural satellite in a dazzling image in which it appears to be divided in two:

Dione

The photograph was taken from .02 degrees above the ring plane on Christmas day by Cassini. The vantage point of the image is approximately 1.4 million miles away from Dione, at an angle of 115 degrees relative to the Sun. Dione's bright streaks can be seen on the illuminated right side, while the large crater Turnus is visible near the rings. 

Cassini has been studying Dione for several years, sending back valuable information about the moon's atmosphere, surface, and composition. The spacecraft performed close flybys to the moon last year on June 16 and August 17, but the mission will soon draw to a close. After a few close passes by Saturn, the craft will go inside Saturn's rings and then do a kamikaze dive into Saturn's atmosphere on September 15, 2017.

Via NASA.
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NASA
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