NASA's Cassini spacecraft never fails to disappoint space enthusiasts, astronomers and scientists when it comes to discovering new features of Saturn and its moons.
This time, Cassini's subject is Saturn's moon Dione, which cooperated with the spacecraft perfectly as it revealed its past through contrasts.
In a new image released by NASA, the visible features are a mixture of tectonics – the bright, linear features – and impact cratering – the round features, which are spread across the entire surface.
As per the American space agency, tectonic features tell the story of how Dione (698 miles or 1,123 kilometers across) has been heated and cooled since its formation, and scientists use those clues to piece together the moon's past. Impact craters are evidence of external debris striking the surface, and thus they tell about the environment in which the moon has existed over its history.
This view looks toward the trailing hemisphere of Dione. North on Dione is up. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini narrow-angle camera on April 11, 2015.
The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 68,000 miles (110,000 kilometers) from Dione and at a Sun-Dione-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 28 degrees. Image scale is 2,165 feet (660 meters) per pixel.