Image: Closest Dione flyby

Jan 23, 2012
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

(PhysOrg.com) -- Flying past Saturn's moon Dione, Cassini captured this view which includes two smaller moons, Epimetheus and Prometheus, near the planet's rings.

The image was taken in visible light with Cassini's narrow-angle camera during the spacecraft's of Dione on Dec. 12, 2011. This encounter was the spacecraft's closest pass of the moon's surface, but, because this flyby was intended primarily for other Cassini instruments, it did not yield Cassini's best images of the moon. Higher resolution images were obtained during earlier flybys (see PIA07638).

Dione (698 miles, or 1,123 kilometers across) is closest to here and is on the left of the image. Potato-shaped Prometheus (53 miles, or 86 kilometers across) appears above the rings near the center top of the image. Epimetheus (70 miles, or 113 kilometers across) is on the right.

This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from less than one degree above the . The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 67,000 miles (108,000 kilometers) from Dione. Image scale is 2,122 feet (647 meters) per pixel on .

Explore further: Computer model shows moon's core surrounded by liquid and it's caused by Earth's gravity

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