Only a slice of Iapetus is illuminated in this image, but still Cassini spies the distinctive two-tone surface of this distant Saturnian moon.
Lit terrain seen here is on the leading hemisphere of Iapetus (1471 kilometers, 914 miles across). North on Iapetus is up and rotated 13 degrees to the left.
The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 2.7 million kilometers (1.7 million miles) from Iapetus and at a Sun-Iapetus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 111 degrees. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 3, 2009. Image scale is 16 kilometers (10 miles) per pixel.
The Cassini Equinox Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. 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 was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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.