Iapetan Geography

PIA NumberPIA08403
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Close-up of Iapetus

Cassini soars above the many pits and basins in the rolling landscape of Saturn's moon Iapetus. This mosaic view looks out onto an area close to the northern bright/dark boundary, but still within the dark region, Cassini Regio.

Near upper left is a large crater with terraced walls, a mostly flat floor and a prominent group of peaks in its center. The sharp features make this likely one of the youngest craters in this area of Iapetus. Cassini imaged another similarly flat-floored and relatively fresh crater during its Dec. 2004 Iapetus flyby (see Giant Landslide on Iapetus).

The mosaic consists of three image footprints across the surface of Iapetus (1,468 kilometers, or 912 miles across). The view is centered on terrain near 43.3 degrees north latitude, 138 degrees west longitude. Image scale is approximately 75 meters (246 feet) per pixel.

The clear spectral filter images in this mosaic were obtained with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 10, 2007, at a distance of approximately 13,500 kilometers (8,400 miles) from Iapetus and at a sun-Iapetus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 139 degrees.

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 mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at .

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute