CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
World of Contrast

This Cassini view shows how the bright and dark regions on Iapetus fit together like the seams of a baseball. Some of the material that covers the moon's dark, leading side spills over into regions on the brigher trailing side, creating the feature near upper right referred to by some scientists as "the Moat" (see PIA06168 for a higher resolution view of this region).

The large impact basin above center in the dark terrain has a diameter of about 550 kilometers (340 miles).

This view looks toward the Saturn-facing hemisphere of Iapetus (1,471 kilometers, 914 miles across). North is up.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 25, 2006 at a distance of approximately 1.6 million kilometers (1 million miles) from Iapetus. Image scale is 9 kilometers (6 miles) per pixel.

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: August 2, 2006 (PIA 08234)
Image/Caption Information
  World of Contrast
PIA 08234

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