The painted moon – Iapetus

Like a painting  in  Louvre Museum,Saturn’s moon  Iapetus “hangs” in our solar system which looks like as if paint has been splashed on its surface.A combination of dark and white world,that’s how its surface looks like.Infrared studies show that it possibly contains some kind of dark carbon.

iapetus3_cassini
Iapetus (Credits: Cassini Imaging Team,NASA,SSI,JPL,ESA)

 

The picture shown above has been taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft while it was orbiting Saturn in 2007,a swoop did the job.The picture was taken about 75,000 kilometers from it.A huge impact crater can also be seen with an older one below it.The dark layer is less than a meter thick.A hypothesis suggests that that the dark material is mostly dirt leftover when relatively warm but dirty ice sublimates(Sublimation is the transition of a substance directly from the solid to the gas phase without passing through the intermediate liquid phase).

Iapetus appears like walnut because of its unusual equatorial ridge as seen in the picture below.

iapetus_cassini
Cassini Imaging Team,ESA,SSI,NASA,JPL
Advertisements