The many impact scars borne by Iapetus are made far more conspicuous in the region of transition from its dark hemisphere to its bright one. In this terrain, the dark material that coats Cassini Regio accentuates slopes and crater floors, creating a land of stark contrasts.
North on Iapetus (1,468 kilometers, or 912 miles across) is up.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Sept. 6, 2006 at a distance of approximately 2.2 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) from Iapetus and at a Sun- Iapetus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 26 degrees. Image scale is 13 kilometers (8 miles) per pixel.
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.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute