Astronomy Picture of the Day
January 9, 2013

The South Polar Regions of Dione
The South Polar Regions of Dione

Credits: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/Lunar Explorer Italia/IPF

Dione's Southern Polar Region (well shown in this frame taken by the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft in August 2005) contains Fractures whose softened appearance suggests that they might have different ages than the Bright Braided Fractures seen in the North. The South Polar Regions are also notably brighter than the Equatorial Terrain visible towards the top of the image. Near the center of the frame, then, several of the bright, radial Streaks which characterize the whole Surface of this Icy Saturnian moon, mark a Surface Feature named "Cassandra", which is the remnant of an extremely small and ancient Rayed Crater

This view of Dione (which is approx. 1120 Km across) captures High Southern Latitudes located on the moon's Trailing Hemisphere; the image was taken in Visible Light with the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft Narrow-Angle Camera on August, 1st, 2005, at a distance of approximately 269.000 Km (such as about 167.000 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-Cassini Spacecraft, or Phase, Angle of 41°. Image scale is roughly 2 Km (approx. 1,2 miles) per pixel.

This frame (which is an Original NASA - Cassini Spacecraft image published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 07581) has been additionally processed and then colorized in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a human eye would actually perceive if someone were onboard the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft and then looked outside, towards the Saturnian moon Dione), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team. Different colors, as well as different shades of the same color, mean, among others, the existence of different Elements present on the Surface of Dione, each having a different Albedo (---> Reflectivity) and Chemical Composition.

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