NASA Image Reveals Saturn Moon Dione’s Creusa Crater And Its Rays

Posted: Feb 22 2017, 11:48pm CST | by , Updated: Feb 22 2017, 11:55pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

 
NASA Image Reveals Saturn Moon Dione’s Creusa Crater and its Rays
Credit: NASA

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Dione's Creusa crater is featured in the lastest NASA image with the sun providing dramatic backlighting

The latest image released by NASA shows the heavily cratered surface of Saturn’s Moon Dione, lit from behind by the sun.

The craters on Dione surface vary in size. However, the most prominent of them is crater Creusa which is about 36.2 kilometers across and leaves bright rays pattern almost all over the moon, hinting at the violent past of the Dione.

“The rays are brighter material blasted out by the impact that formed the crater. Scientists can use the patterns of ejecta (like these rays), to help determine the order of geological events on a moon's surface by examining which features lie on top of other features.” NASA website said.

The main focus of this particular image is the Saturn-faced side of Dione. Dione is tidally locked to the Saturn, which means it always shows one face to its parent body.

The image was taken with Cassini’s narrow-angle camera on Nov. 26, 2016, when the spacecraft was approximately 350,000 miles away from Dione.

Dione is the fourth largest moon of Saturn with a diameter of 698 miles. The moon orbits around Saturn once every 2.7 Earth-days at a distance of 234,000 miles. This is similar to the Earth’s distance from its moon. About two third of Dione mass is made up of water ice while the remaining is solid silicate rock.

Cassini has been studying Saturn and its moons since 2004. This more than decade-long mission is scheduled to conclude in late 2017.

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