CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

The View from Iapetus
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While on final approach for its Sept. 2007 close encounter with Iapetus, Cassini spun around to take in a sweeping view of the Saturn System.

Iapetus (1,471 kilometers, 914 miles across) is the only major moon of Saturn with a significant inclination to its orbit. From the other major satellites, the rings would appear nearly edge-on, but from Iapetus, the rings usually appear at a tilt, as seen here.

This natural color mosaic consists of 15 red, green and blue spectral filter images acquired in five wide-angle camera footprints that swept across the scene.

Moons visible in this image: Dione (1,123 kilometers, 698 miles across) at center left, Enceladus (504 kilometers, 313 miles across) near the left side ansa (or ring edge), Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across) a speck against the ring shadows on Saturn's western limb, Rhea (1,528 kilometers, 949 miles across) against the bluish backdrop of the northern hemisphere, Tethys (1,062 kilometers, 660 miles across) near the right ansa, and Titan (5,150 kilometers, 3,200 miles across) near lower right.

The images were obtained on Sept. 10, 2007 at a distance of approximately 3.3 million kilometers (2.1 million miles) from Saturn at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 33 degrees. Image scale is about 195 kilometers (121 miles) per pixel on the planet.

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: October 15, 2007 (PIA 08387)
Image/Caption Information
  The View from Iapetus
PIA 08387

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Alliance Member Comments
Red_dragon (Oct 28, 2007 at 8:54 AM):
"Worlds of the Cassini-Huygens Mission: Beyond the Realm of Jupiter".
Great image, as usual. If you see it zoomed out, it looks like the telescopic aspect Saturn offers now -except for the disklike Titan, of course-.

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