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Closest View of Iapetus
- Title Closest View of Iapetus
- Released 09/10/2007 11:09 am
- Copyright NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
This mosaic of Cassini images shows the smallest details ever observed on Saturn's moon Iapetus.
Visible here are small craters as well as the base of a large mountain ridge located just south of the mosaic. At several places, bright spots about 20 to 50 metres across are visible. At these locations, more recent impactors have punched through the overlying blanket of dark material to reveal brighter, cleaner ice beneath.
Since the bright craters are relatively small and very shallow, it is likely that the dark blanket is rather thin in this area; it is assumed that its actual average thickness might be on the order of a foot.
The small crater at the upper left edge of the mosaic has a diameter of about 50 metres and shows a distinct ray pattern from excavated ice. This feature is so bright in comparison to the dark surrounding terrain that it had to be darkened manually so as not to look overexposed in this mosaic.
The mosaic consists of eight image footprints across the surface of Iapetus, presented here in simple cylindrical projection. The view is centered on terrain near 0° north and 164.9° west, within the dark leading hemisphere of Iapetus. Image scale is approximately 10 metres per pixel.
The clear spectral filter images in this mosaic were obtained with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on 10 September 2007, at distances ranging from 1627 to 2040 kilometres from Iapetus.
Iapetus is 1468 kilometers across.
- Id 240619