This stereo image, or anaglyph, shows huge mountains on Saturn's moon Iapetus, imaged by NASA's Cassini spacecraft during its very close fly-by in September 2007. These mountains are located at the moon's equator in the westward-most part of the dark terrain.
Here, the brightness pattern on the surface is very complex. The mountain in the center of this view is part of the range informally named "the Voyager mountains" that were first detected on the limb of the moon in NASA Voyager spacecraft images. Interestingly, its eastern (right) flank is dark, while the other flanks are bright. This suggests that external material arriving on Iapetus from its orbital motion might play a role in the darkening process. One plausible source, the outer moons of Saturn, might provide a very thin but steady stream of very dark particles from the eastern direction as seen from this mountain.
The mosaic consists of six image footprints across the surface of Iapetus. The view is centered on terrain near 0.1° and 199° west. Image scale is approximately 46 metres per pixel.
The clear spectral filter images in this mosaic were obtained with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on 10 September 2007. Distances for the blue portion of the image range from 7744 to 9135 kilometres from Iapetus; distances for the red portion of the image range from 20 267 to 21 595 kilometres from the moon.
A separate, non-stereo version of the scene is included for comparison.
Iapetus is 1468 kilometres across.