A large crater can be seen in the southern hemisphere of Saturn's two-tone moon Iapetus. Lit terrain seen here is on the trailing hemisphere while the leading hemisphere is extremely dark and whose trailing hemisphere is as white as snow.
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Big Crater Down South

A large crater can be seen in the southern hemisphere of Saturn's two-tone moon Iapetus.

Lit terrain seen here is on the trailing hemisphere of Iapetus (914 miles, or 1,471 kilometers across), a moon whose leading hemisphere is extremely dark and whose trailing hemisphere is as white as snow. This view looks toward the moon’s south polar region, which is visible near the lower limb of the moon. The south pole itself is in the unilluminated area immediately to the left of the terminator.

A dark region on the moon can be seen at the top of this view. See PIA11690 and PIA12604 to learn more about Iapetus' color dichotomy.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 13, 2012. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.2 million miles (2 million kilometers) from Iapetus and at a Sun-Iapetus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 93 degrees. Scale in the original image was 7 miles (12 kilometers) per pixel. The image was contrast enhanced and magnified by a factor of 1.5 to enhance the visibility of surface features.

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.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.

Image details

ID#:
PIA14624

Date added:
2012-09-03

Target:
Iapetus

Mission:
Cassini-Huygens

Spacecraft:
Cassini Orbiter

Instruments:
Imaging Science Subsystem - Narrow Angle

Rating:



Views:
1,816

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA14624.tif (1.21 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA14624.jpg (0.02 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute