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Saturn's moon Dione harbours a subsurface ocean

A subsurface ocean lies deep within Saturn's moon Dione, according to new data from the Cassini mission to Saturn. Two other moons of Saturn, Titan and Enceladus, are already known to hide global oceans beneath their icy crusts, but a new study suggests an ocean exists on Dione as well.
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Cassini Finds Hints of Activity at Saturn Moon Dione

Hints of Dione's activity have recently come from Cassini, which has been exploring the Saturn system since 2004. The spacecraft's magnetometer has detected a faint particle stream coming from the moon, and images showed evidence for a possible liquid or slushy layer under its rock-hard ice crust. Other Cassini images have also revealed ancient, inactive fractures at Dione similar to those seen at Enceladus that currently spray water ice and organic particles.
The mountain examined in the latest paper -- published in March in the journal Icarus -- is called Janiculum Dorsa and ranges in height from about 1 to 2 kilometers. The moon's crust appears to pucker under this mountain as much as about 0.5 kilometer.

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Peeping Mimas

PIA14619.jpg
Expand (94kb, 1016 x 1016)
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute 

Saturn's moon Mimas peeps out from behind the larger moon Dione in this view from the Cassini spacecraft. Mimas (396 kilometres across) is near the bottom center of the image. Saturn's rings are also visible in the top right. This view looks toward the anti-Saturn side of Dione (1,123 kilometres across). North on Dione is up and rotated 20 degrees to the right. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.
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Dione020512b.jpg
Expand (392kb, 1280 x 960)
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

This image of Dione was taken by the Cassini spaceprobe on the 2nd May, 2012, when it was approximately 80,097 kilometres away.
The image was taken using the CL1 and CL2 filters.



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Icy Saturn moon 'may be active'

Nasa's Cassini spacecraft has spied possible signs of geological activity on Saturn's icy moon Dione.
It sees features that resemble hot fissures and indications of a possible ice volcano on the satellite.
The fissures look remarkably similar to the "tiger stripes" found on Saturn's moon Enceladus, which spew powerful jets of water into space.
On Dione these features may now be idle, but other lines of evidence suggest some activity is ongoing.

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Oxygen envelops Saturn's icy moon

A Nasa spacecraft has detected oxygen around one of Saturn's icy moons, Dione.
The discovery supports a theory that suggests all of the moons near Saturn and Jupiter might have oxygen around them.
Researchers say that their finding increases the likelihood of finding the ingredients for life on one of the moons orbiting gas giants.
The study has been published in Geophysical Research Letters.

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Oxygen discovered at Saturn's moon Dione

Dione, one of Saturn's icy moons, has a weak exosphere which includes molecules of oxygen, according to new findings from the Cassini-Huygens mission.
The international mission made the discovery using combined data from one of Cassini's instruments, called CAPS (Cassini Plasma Spectrometer), which includes a sensor designed and built at UCL's Mullard Space Science Laboratory.
Dione joins Rhea and the main rings in Saturn's system in having an oxygen rich exosphere, as well as Jupiter's moons Ganymede, Europa and Callisto - the target for ESA's proposed JUICE (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer) mission for launch in 2022.

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Saturn's icy moon Dione has an atmosphere, albeit a thin one, astronomers have discovered.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft revealed Dione's atmosphere during a recent close flyby of the Saturnian satellite.
Cassini's data showed that Dione leaves behind "fingerprints" as it sweeps through Saturn's huge magnetic field.

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The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has approved sixteen names, for 3 fossae and 13 craters, on Dione.

Argiletum Fossae for a 224-km-wide depression located at 65.18° N, 32.1° W.
The feature was named in honour of a district of Rome near the Forum.

Helorus Fossa for a 105-km-wide depression located at 31.84° S, 76.48° W.
The feature was named in honour of a river in southeastern Sicily.

Himella Fossa for a 147-km-wide depression located at 45.6° S, 336.55° W.
The feature was named in honour of a river of the Sabines.

Alcander for a 120-km-wide crater located at 52.89° S, 295.49° W.
The feature was named in honour of the Trojan who defended Aeneas camp against the Rutulians.

Assaracus for a 60-km-wide crater located at 32.65° N, 8.79° W.    
The feature was named in honour of  an early king of Troy.

Also craters FadusGalaesus, Haemon, IasusLamyrus, Oebalus, Phorbas, Salius, Sulmo, Telon and Volcens.

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This image of Dione was taken by with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on the 7th April, 2010, when it was approximately 50,000 kilometres away.
The image scale is 300 metres per pixel.

Dione070410b.jpg
Expand (149kb, 1024 x 768)
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute



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