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ILA 2008: Saturn nav easier with atlas

A team of scientists from DLR (Germany's national research centre for aeronautics and space) and Freie Universität Berlin have produced an atlas of Saturn's moon Dione using data from the Cassini spacecraft.

This is the third in its series of atlases of Saturn's icy satellites and other moons will be mapped as Cassini's mission continues.

DLR's Dr Thomas Roatsch says: “We used the 449 existing high-resolution Cassini images of Dione to produce a single, carefully-controlled global map. We then cut the map into 15 pieces, with each piece forming a section of the atlas."

Dr Gerhard Neukum of Freie Universität, says: "These maps will help the team members in their scientific and mission planning efforts and will be a reliable reference for future applications by the planetary science community at large."

Future atlases could take some time to produce as Saturn's moon's polar regions are often in complete darkness - Saturn takes nearly 30 years to orbit the Sun, and its seasons are more than seven years long.

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