PIA14624: Big Crater Down South

Big Crater Down South


A large crater can be seen in the southern hemisphere of Saturn's two-tone moon Iapetus.

Lit terrain seen here is on the trailing hemisphere of Iapetus (914 miles, or 1,471 kilometers across), a moon whose leading hemisphere is extremely dark and whose trailing hemisphere is as white as snow. This view looks toward the moon's south polar region, which is visible near the lower limb of the moon. The south pole itself is in the unilluminated area immediately to the left of the terminator.

A dark region on the moon can be seen at the top of this view. See PIA11690 and PIA12604 to learn more about Iapetus' color dichotomy.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 13, 2012. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.2 million miles (2 million kilometers) from Iapetus and at a Sun-Iapetus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 93 degrees. Scale in the original image was 7 miles (12 kilometers) per pixel. The image was contrast enhanced and magnified by a factor of 1.5 to enhance the visibility of surface features.

Background Info:

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 http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Iapetus
System Saturn
Target Type Satellite
Mission Cassini-Huygens
Instrument Host Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Detector Narrow Angle Camera
Extra Keywords Crater, Grayscale, Visual
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2012-09-03
Date in Caption 2012-07-13
Image Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA14624
Identifier PIA14624