Dark Side of Dione
July 19, 2004
The icy, cratered surface of Saturn's moon Dione shows more than just its sunlit side in these two processed versions of the same image. The view at left, with only mild enhancement, shows a romantic crescent with large craters visible. The contrast in the version at the right has been greatly enhanced to show the side of Dione lit faintly by reflected light from Saturn. A similar phenomenon can be seen from Earth, when the Moon's dark side is visible due to earthshine. The crater at the top of the image appears to have a sunlit central peak in the enhanced view - a common characteristic of craters on Dione as seen in Voyager images. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on July 2, 2004, from a distance of about 1.4 million kilometers (860,000 thousand miles) from Dione, at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase angle of about 119 degrees.
Topics: Dione, Moons of Saturn, Planetary science, Planetshine, Enceladus, Cassini–Huygens, Saturn, Astronomy