View Full Version : Discussion: Cassini's First View Of Iapetus

2004-Jun-22, 04:29 PM
SUMMARY: Cassini has turned to look at another of Saturn's moons; this time it's Iapetus. This image was taken on May 23, 2004, when Cassini was 20.2 million kilometres (12.5 million miles) from Iapetus. Although it's small and hazy in this picture, the moon is much larger than Phoebe, and measures 1436 km (892 miles) across. It was first photographed up close by the Voyager spacecraft, which found that it has a light and a dark side - this duality is just barely visible in this image.

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2004-Jun-22, 04:36 PM
I've always had an interest in Iapetus since I read 2001 [by Arthur C. Clarke]. In the book version, the astronauts were headed to Iapetus, and on arriving, the dark-side light-side thing looked like a giant eye, with the monolith centered in the white-spot.

The Voyager images took the wind out of that illusion. Now it looks like it was hit with a giant paint-ball.