Some of Iapetus' dark surface interrupts the moon's lighter terrain in this Cassini view.
Scientists continue to investigate the nature of this moon's dark and light surface. See PIA11690 to learn more. Lit terrain seen here is on the trailing hemisphere of Iapetus (1471 kilometers, 914 miles across). North on Iapetus is up and rotated 10 degrees to the right.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 9, 2010. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.3 million kilometers (808,000 miles) from Iapetus and at a Sun-Iapetus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 95 degrees. Image scale is 8 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.