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Emily LakdawallaDecember 4, 2013

Pretty picture: newly processed high-res view of a fractured icy moon, Dione

Here's a lovely new view of Dione, one of the lovely mid-sized icy moons of Saturn, assembled by Daniel Macháček. Please make sure to click through twice to appreciate its fully detailed glory. The data are about two years old. It takes a lot of work to assemble such a lovely, seamless mosaic, especially in color. Kudos to Daniel!

Super high-resolution global view of Dione, plus rings

NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSI / Daniel Macháček

Super high-resolution global view of Dione, plus rings
This super high-resolution view of Dione is a mosaic of 14 footprints, images taken through infrared, green, and ultraviolet filters processed to approximate the color that the human eye would see. In the background, Saturn's ring system is foreshortened to a thin double yellow line.

Longtime readers have seen other products from this set of observations before. I put together a smaller mosaic that included some of Dione plus more of Saturn's ringmoons, but it wasn't in color:

Dione in front of ringmoons

NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSI / Emily Lakdawalla

Dione in front of ringmoons
Cassini captured the images for this mosaic on 12 December 2011. The five images used in this mosaic were taken sequentially, and the background moons shifted positions between frames; this composition does not actually reflect a confluence of moons that happened at one distinct moment in time. From left to right, the ringmoons are Prometheus, Epimetheus, and Pandora.

And here's a view from the wide-angle camera, which gathers in Saturn as well, albeit at a lower resolution:

Dione and Saturn and an almost invisible ring

NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSI / Emily Lakdawalla

Dione and Saturn and an almost invisible ring
An infrared-green-violet approximate true-color composite of Dione poised in front of Saturn on 12 December 2011. Cassini is almost precisely in the ring plane, so the rings are vanishingly thin.

There are so many more equally lovely observations just waiting in the Cassini archives for someone to come along and do the work to assemble them! The data set will keep amateurs (not to mention professionals!) busy for years to come.

Read more: Dione, pretty pictures, Cassini, data art (was amateur image processing), best of, full-globe view, Saturn's moons

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Emily Lakdawalla

Solar System Specialist for The Planetary Society
Read more articles by Emily Lakdawalla

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