CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Inky Stains on a Frozen Moon
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Inky Stains on a Frozen Moon
PIA 08374

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  Dark material splatters the walls and floors of craters in the surreal, frozen wastelands of Iapetus. This image shows terrain in the transition region between the moon's dark leading hemisphere and its bright trailing hemisphere. The view was acquired during Cassini's only close flyby of the two-toned Saturn moon.

The image was taken on Sept. 10, 2007 with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera at a distance of approximately 6,030 kilometers (3,750 miles) from Iapetus. Image scale is 36 meters (118 feet) per pixel.

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 Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: September 12, 2007 (PIA 08374)
Image/Caption Information