The Cassini spacecraft takes one of its last good looks at Iapetus, a Saturnian moon known for its yin-yang-like, bright-and-dark color pattern.
This view looks toward the south pole of Iapetus (1,471 kilometers, or 914 miles across), and lit terrain seen here is in the southern latitudes of the trailing hemisphere. There is only one other planned viewing opportunity of Iapetus left in Cassini's Solstice Mission, in March 2015.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 7, 2011. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 863,000 kilometers (536,000 miles) from Iapetus and at a Sun-Iapetus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 98 degrees. Image scale is 5 kilometers (3 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 in Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute