October 11, 2007

Iapetus in Hi-Res

This is the first hi-res photograph of Saturn's moon, Iapetus.

Note that the two-tone color Iapetus is known for is visible even in hi-res, from close. Researchers think this stark contrast is due to uneven solar heating, which allows ice vapors to escape from the dark side (no star wars pun intended) and to be retained in the lighter side.

Notice that there is no grey; the contrast goes immediately from dark to bright.