CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Crater at the Edge

Crater at the Edge
PIA 12596

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  Craters give a rugged look to surface of Iapetus, especially in the large basin of Engelier visible along the southern limb of the moon in this view.

The two-toned surface of the moon is evident in the dark areas visible near the north's middle latitudes. See PIA11690 to learn more about the craters and brightness dichotomy on Iapetus.

Lit terrain seen here is on the Saturn-facing side and trailing hemisphere of Iapetus (1471 kilometers, 914 miles across). North on Iapetus is up and rotated 9 degrees to the right.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 16, 2010. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 2 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) from Iapetus and at a Sun-Iapetus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 88 degrees. Scale in the original image was 12 kilometers (7 miles) per pixel. The image has been magnified by a factor of two and contrast-enhanced to aid visibility.

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: March 24, 2010 (PIA 12596)
Image/Caption Information