Dione Crosses Saturn’s Disk In Spectacular New Image

NASA has released an incredible new image showing one of Saturn’s many moons crossing the planet’s disk.

The moon Dione, named for the Greek goddess Dione, can be seen in the image above, which was captured by the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 21.

The technical specifications are quite amazing.

“The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.4 million miles from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 119 degrees,” according to NASA. “Image scale is 9 miles per pixel.”

Here are some additional details about Dione, from Space.com:

At 696 miles in diameter, Dione is the fourth-largest of Saturn’s sixty-odd moons; only Titan, Rhea and Iapetus are bigger. Parts of Dione are heavily cratered, and the satellite’s trailing side features mysterious ice cliffs and fractures that run for tens or hundreds of kilometers. Cassini has also detected a wispy oxygen atmosphere surrounding the frigid moon.

No additional close fly-bys of Dione are planned for the Cassini spacecraft.

Dione was first discovered by Giovanni Cassini in 1684.

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