Detail on Dione (False Color)
The leading hemisphere of Dione displays subtle variations in color across its surface in this false color view.
To create this view, ultraviolet, green and infrared images were combined into a single black and white picture that isolates and maps regional color differences.
This "color map" was then superposed over a clear-filter image. The origin of the color differences is not yet understood, but may be caused by subtle differences in the surface composition or the sizes of grains making up the icy soil.
Terrain visible here is on the moon's leading hemisphere. North on Dione (1,126 kilometers, or 700 miles across) is up and rotated 17 degrees to the right.
All images were acquired with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Dec. 24, 2005 at a distance of approximately 597,000 kilometers (371,000 miles) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 21 degrees. Image scale is 4 kilometers (2 miles) per pixel.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute