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Iapetus


Notes

Iapetus, Saturn's third largest moon, was discovered in October 1671 by Giovanni Cassini. Its main features include the existence of a very bright hemisphere and a dark hemisphere giving a large contrast between the two, and its unusual, highly inclined orbit around Saturn, meaning that while the view of Saturn's rings from its other moons would be edge-on and not very good, the view from Iapetus would generally be from above and below, giving a much better view of Saturn's icy disk. A third unique feature is a massive ridge right along the equator in the dark region of the moon, the cause of formation of this ridge remains a mystery.


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