COSMIC SECRETS
The Enigmas on Iapetus
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Death Star Revisited
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PIA06166: Encountering Iapetus

The most unique, and perhaps most remarkable feature discovered on Iapetus in Cassini images is a topographic ridge that coincides almost exactly with the geographic equator. The ridge is conspicuous in the picture as an approximately 20-kilometer wide (12 miles) band that extends from the western (left) side of the disc almost to the day/night boundary on the right. On the left horizon, the peak of the ridge reaches at least 13 kilometers (8 miles) above the surrounding terrain. Along the roughly 1,300 kilometer (800 mile) length over which it can be traced in this picture, it remains almost exactly parallel to the equator within a couple of degrees. The physical origin of the ridge has yet to be explained. It is not yet clear whether the ridge is a mountain belt that has folded upward, or an extensional crack in the surface through which material from inside Iapetus erupted onto the surface and accumulated locally, forming the ridge.

SOURCE: NASA   PIA06166
 
 

Image credit: NASA/Casinni
Explanation: The part that is in direct sunlight has a shine to it as if it were metalic or covered with ice. This is one of the strangest moons in our solar system
 
February 1, 2005

 Saturn's Iapetus: Moon with a Strange Surface
Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA

Explanation: What has happened to Saturn's moon Iapetus? A strange ridge crosses the moon near the equator, visible near the bottom of the above image, making Iapetus appear similar to the pit of a peach. Half of Iapetus is so dark that it can nearly disappear when viewed from Earth. Recent observations show that the degree of darkness of the terrain is strangely uniform, like a dark coating was somehow recently applied to an ancient and highly cratered surface. The other half of Iapetus is relatively bright but oddly covered with long and thin streaks of dark. A 400-kilometre wide impact basin is visible near the image centre, delineated by deep scarps that drop sharply to the crater floor. The above image was taken by the Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft during a flyby of Iapetus at the end of last year.

 Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)

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A Truly Mysterious Heavenly Body
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Image credit: USGS
Sometime it really is true what they say, that "Truth is Stranger than Fiction. The image below is just the right angle to give the appearance of another ummm Earthly globe. 
Yes it really does look like that, at least according to NASA/JPL
 PIA08375: The "Voyager" Mountains
September 10, 2007
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Image Credit:  NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Cassini zooms in, for the first time, on the patchy, bright and dark mountains originally identified in images from the NASA Voyager spacecraft taken more than 25 years earlier. The image was acquired during Cassini's only close flyby of Iapetus, a two-toned moon of Saturn.

The terrain seen here is located on the equator of Iapetus at approximately 199 degrees west longitude, in the transition region between the moon's bright and dark hemispheres. North is up. 

The image was taken on Sept. 10, 2007, with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera at a distance of approximately 9,240 kilometers (5,740 miles) from Iapetus. Image scale is 55 meters (180 feet) per pixel.

SOURCE: NASA PIA08375

PIA08373: Coated Craters
September 10, 2007
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Image Credit:  NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Cassini surveys a bright landscape coated by dark material on Iapetus. This image shows terrain in the transition region between the moon's dark leading hemisphere and its bright trailing hemisphere. The view was acquired during Cassini's only close flyby of the two-toned Saturn moon.

The image was taken on Sept. 10, 2007, with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera at a distance of approximately 5,260 kilometers (3,270 miles) from Iapetus. Image scale is 32 meters (105 feet) per pixel. 

SOURCE: NASA PIA08373

PIA08374: Inky Stains on a Frozen Moon
September 10, 2007
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Image Credit:  NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Dark material splatters the walls and floors of craters in the surreal, frozen wastelands of Iapetus. This image shows terrain in the transition region between the moon's dark leading hemisphere and its bright trailing hemisphere. The view was acquired during Cassini's only close flyby of the two-toned Saturn moon.

The image was taken on Sept. 10, 2007, with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera at a distance of approximately 6,030 kilometers (3,750 miles) from Iapetus. Image scale is 36 meters (118 feet) per pixel. 

SOURCE: NASA PIA08374

PIA08372: The Himalayas of Iapetus
September 10, 2007
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Image Credit:  NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

This stunning close-up view shows mountainous terrain that reaches about 10 kilometers (6 miles) high along the unique equatorial ridge of Iapetus. The view was acquired during Cassini's only close flyby of the two-toned Saturn moon.

Above the middle of the image can be seen a place where an impact has exposed the bright ice beneath the dark overlying material.

The image was taken on Sept. 10, 2007, with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera at a distance of approximately 3,870 kilometers (2,400 miles) from Iapetus. Image scale is 23 meters (75 feet) per pixel. 

SOURCE: NASA PIA08372

Lonely Outpost
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This lone bright spot in the mountain range looks like a lonely outpost that has the welcome lights on. There are even 'roadways' visible in the front of the 'outpost
Tower on Iapetus
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This image was found on Richard Hoagland's site Enterprise Mission. As yet we have no been able to confirm it from another source
A More Normal View
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Image Credit:  NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
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Image Credit:  NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
The Death Star Revisited
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Image Credit:  NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
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Image Credit:  NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Closeup of the "Wall of Iapetus"
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