Cassini captures detailed images of Saturn's moon Dione

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June 21st, 2015
In this article: cassini, dione, moon, nasa, saturn, space
Cassini captures detailed images of Saturn's moon Dione

This is a photo of Dione, one of Saturn's moons. Just like the planet's most stunning images, this picture was also captured by NASA's and ESA's Cassini spacecraft, as it flew by on June 16th. The vessel, which has been orbiting Saturn for over a decade, took the pictures in visible light using a narrow-angle camera at an altitude of 321 miles from the moon's pockmarked surface. While that's pretty close, the closest flyby yet happened in 2011, when Cassini flew by Dione at an altitude of 62 miles.

The other image below was taken from 48,000 miles away, with Saturn and its rings visible in the background and Enceladus making a cameo on the upper right portion of the pic. Enceladus is another Saturnian moon, which astronomers believe might have warm waters, chemicals and minerals that could foster life. Cassini's slated to pass real close to it soon -- as close as 30 miles from its surface -- and will likely take images of the icy satellite, as well.

[Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute]

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