CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Taking a Longer View

Taking a Longer View
PIA 11460

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  Cassini casts its gaze across four million kilometers of space for this snapshot of Iapetus, Saturn's most distant major moon.

Iapetus -- at 1471 kilometers (914 miles) across -- is the third largest moon, but its inclined orbit is much farther out from the other major moons where Cassini spends most of its time. Nonetheless, the moon's distinctive two-tone surface is obvious.

This view looks toward the leading hemisphere of Iapetus. North on Iapetus is up and rotated 2 degrees to the right. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 3, 2008.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 4 million kilometers (2.5 million miles) from Iapetus and at a Sun-Iapetus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 69 degrees. Image scale is 24 kilometers (15 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: March 31, 2009 (PIA 11460)
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