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Cassini looks toward a crescent of Saturn's moon Iapetus and glimpses a bit of that moon's yin-yang appearance.
Scientists continue to investigate the nature of this moon's dark and light surface. See PIA11690 to learn more. Lit terrain seen here is in the transition area between the Saturn-facing side and trailing hemisphere of Iapetus (1471 kilometers, 914 miles across). North on Iapetus is roughly up and rotated 13 degrees to the left. The south pole is to left of the terminator at the bottom of the image.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 4, 2010. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.4 million kilometers (870,000 miles) from Iapetus and at a Sun-Iapetus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 130 degrees. Image scale is 9 kilometers (5 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.