Dione and Saturn


Saturn and its rings frame this striking image of the icy moon Dione.


The moon Dione seen with Saturn and Saturn’s rings.
The moon Dione seen with Saturn and Saturn’s rings.
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Taken by the NASA probe Cassini in October 2005 as it sped toward the pale, icy moon Dione, this photo is enriched by the tranquil gold and blue hues of Saturn in the distance.

The horizontal stripes near the bottom of the image are Saturn’s rings. The spacecraft was nearly in the plane of the rings when the images were taken, thinning them by perspective and masking their awesome scale. The thin, curving shadows of the C ring and part of the B ring adorn the northern latitudes of Saturn visible here, a reminder of the rings’ grandeur.

Images taken with blue, green and infrared (centered at 752 nanometers) spectral filters were used to create this colour view, which approximates the scene as it would appear to the human eye. Dione, like most of the other icy Saturnian satellites, looks no different in natural colour than in monochrome images.

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