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Iapetus (moon)

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Iapetus, photo taken by Cassini-Huygens.

Iapetus is a large moon of Saturn. It was discovered by Giovanni Domenico Cassini in 1671.[1] Iapetus is unusual in that one side is very bright and the other side is very dark. This is because one half of the moon is covered in ice and the other side is coated in black, dusty carbon deposits.[1] When Cassini observed the moon, he could only see the moon on one side of Saturn. He concluded that the moon is darker on side than the other, later confirmed by the Voyager 1 spacecraft. Iapetus also has an equatorial ridge discovered by the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft on December 31, 2004. Iapetus has a very slow rotation rate, taking 79 Earth days to complete a rotation.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Cox, Brian; Cohen, Andrew (2010). Wonders of the Solar System. HarperCollins. p. 94-95. ISBN 9780007386901 .