CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

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With its light and dark surface, Iapetus appears almost like a comma punctuation mark or a yin and yang symbol in this Cassini image.

See PIA11690 to learn more about the brightness dichotomy on Iapetus. This view looks toward the Saturn-facing side of Iapetus (1471 kilometers, 914 miles across). North on is up and rotated 41 degrees to the right.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 12, 2010. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.5 million kilometers (932,000 miles) from Iapetus and at a Sun-Iapetus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 74 degrees. Image scale is 9 kilometers (6 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.

For more information about the Cassini Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: August 12, 2010 (PIA 12697)
Image/Caption Information
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PIA 12697

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