CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
To the Relief of Iapetus

Sunlight strikes the terminator region on Iapetus at nearly horizontal angles, making visible the vertical relief of many features there.

This view is centered on terrain in the southern hemisphere of Iapetus (1,471 kilometers, 914 miles across). Lit terrain visible here is on the moon's leading hemisphere. In this image, a large, central-peaked crater is notable at the boundary between the dark material in Cassini Regio and the brighter material on the trailing hemisphere.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 22, 2006, at a distance of approximately 1.3 million kilometers (800,000 miles) from Iapetus and at a Sun-Iapetus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 67 degrees. Resolution in the original image was 8 kilometers (5 miles) per pixel. The image has been magnified by a factor of two and contrast-enhanced to aid visibility.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. 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-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: March 2, 2006 (PIA 08125)
Image/Caption Information
  To the Relief of Iapetus
PIA 08125

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