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The View from Iapetus
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The View from Iapetus

October 16, 2007

While on final approach for its Sept. 2007 close encounter with Saturn's moon Iapetus, Cassini spun around to take in a sweeping view of the Saturn System.

Iapetus (1,468 kilometers, or 912 miles across) is the only major moon of Saturn with a significant inclination to its orbit. From the other major satellites, the rings would appear nearly edge-on, but from Iapetus, the rings usually appear at a tilt, as seen here.

This natural color mosaic consists of 15 red, green and blue spectral filter images acquired in five wide-angle camera footprints that swept across the scene.

Moons visible in this image: Dione (1,126 kilometers, or 700 miles across) at center left, Enceladus (505 kilometers, or 314 miles across) near the left side ansa (or ring edge), Mimas (397 kilometers, or 247 miles across) a speck against the ring shadows on Saturn's western limb, Rhea (1,528 kilometers, or 949 miles across) against the bluish backdrop of the northern hemisphere, Tethys (1,071 kilometers, or 665 miles across) near the right ansa, and Titan (5,150 kilometers, or 3,200 miles across) near lower right.

The images were obtained on Sept. 10, 2007, at a distance of approximately 3.3 million kilometers (2.1 million miles) from Saturn at a sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 33 degrees. Image scale is about 195 kilometers (121 miles) per pixel on the planet.



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