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Saturn from the surface of Iapetus; gas giant; jovian planet; planetary rings; ring system; oblate spheroid - Space Art Illustration

Saturn from Iapetus

In this image Saturn, framed by three inner moons, dominates Iapetus' velvet black sky. Left to right are Tethys, Rhea and Dione.

Less than half the size of the Earth's moon, ice-covered Iapetus is one of the few places in the Solar System that offers a good view of Saturn's rings. This is because Iapetus' orbit is inclined almost 15 degrees to Saturn's equator. With the exception of Phoebe, none of Saturn's other satellites offer such a vantage point. Unlike haze-shrouded Titan, Iapetus has virtually no atmosphere and is believed to be composed almost entirely of water ice.


Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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