CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Coated Craters

Coated Craters
PIA 08373

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  Cassini surveys a bright landscape coated by dark material on Iapetus. This image shows terrain in the transition region between the moon's dark leading hemisphere and its bright trailing hemisphere. The view was acquired during Cassini's only close flyby of the two-toned Saturn moon.

The image was taken on Sept. 10, 2007 with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera at a distance of approximately 5,260 kilometers (3,270 miles) from Iapetus. Image scale is 32 meters (105 feet) 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: September 12, 2007 (PIA 08373)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
chris (Sep 17, 2007 at 12:21 PM):
Looks like the ocean floor, or perhaps cookies & cream ice cream.
kbhatt (Sep 15, 2007 at 4:55 AM):
Why is it that all the "dark material" is visible typically on the right hand side of projections? Is it possible that the "white material" turns black upon excessive exposure to light?