CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Dichotomies on Iapetus

Two new scientific articles, published on-line today in the journal Science, detail how Saturn's mysterious moon Iapetus came by its distinctive two-toned, yin-yang surface. (News release can be found here.)

Dec 10, 2009: Global View of Iapetus' Dichotomy - These two global images of Iapetus show the extreme brightness dichotomy on the surface of this peculiar Saturnian moon.
Dec 10, 2009: Color Dichotomy on Iapetus - Three different false-color views of Saturn's moon Iapetus show the boundary of the global "color dichotomy" on the hemisphere of this moon facing away from Saturn.
Dec 10, 2009: Thermal Runaway Model - This series of maps of Saturn's moon Iapetus shows how a computer model of migrating ice can explain most features of Iapetus' global appearance.
Alliance Member Comments
stowaway (Dec 19, 2009 at 3:15 PM):
It all started when Venus' atmosphere began to go greenhouse. Many of the humans escaped to the next planet. They called it Earth. But one of the spacecraft missed Earth and traveled for many many years, finally arriving at the Saturn system and crashing on Enceladus. The survivors burrowed beneath the surface and began to send out a distress signal. They knew the other humans would be drawn it when their explorations took them to Saturn because it adhered to the three tenets of the ancient Venusian code; "Follow the Water. Don't be fooled by fluorocarbons. (And don't you eat that yellow snow!)"
NeKto (Dec 16, 2009 at 2:08 PM):
Well, we have a very good working hypothesis for the color dichotomy on this extrordinary little moon. how is the hypothesis on the equatorial mountain range formation holding up?
carolyn (CICLOPS) (Dec 11, 2009 at 5:11 PM):
JimRinX: I LOVE it! Pls finish your story and let the rest of us read it!
JimRinX (Dec 11, 2009 at 1:26 PM):
But, but.....where's the Obilisk? Ha, Ha. BTW; SciFi fans, I've just started a short fiction piece where, instead of a Star Gate on Iapetus, we find a Starship burried under the Ice of Enceladus - one whose Total Anihilation Power Supply is so hot (even on 'idle') that is causing the Geysers.
Sir Clark would smile!

Want to add a comment?   Login (for Alliance Members) ... or ... Join the CICLOPS Alliance!