APOD: Saturn's Iapetus: Painted Moon (2012 Jan 13)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
User avatar
APOD Robot
Otto Posterman
Posts: 4527
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:27 am

APOD: Saturn's Iapetus: Painted Moon (2012 Jan 13)

Post by APOD Robot » Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:06 am

Image Saturn's Iapetus: Painted Moon

Explanation: What has happened to Saturn's moon Iapetus? Vast sections of this strange world are dark as coal, while others are as bright as ice. The composition of the dark material is unknown, but infrared spectra indicate that it possibly contains some dark form of carbon. Iapetus also has an unusual equatorial ridge that makes it appear like a walnut. To help better understand this seemingly painted moon, NASA directed the robotic Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn to swoop within 2,000 kilometers in 2007. Pictured above, from about 75,000 kilometers out, Cassini's trajectory allowed unprecedented imaging of the hemisphere of Iapetus that is always trailing. A huge impact crater seen in the south spans a tremendous 450 kilometers and appears superposed on an older crater of similar size. The dark material is seen increasingly coating the easternmost part of Iapetus, darkening craters and highlands alike. Close inspection indicates that the dark coating typically faces the moon's equator and is less than a meter thick. A leading hypothesis is that the dark material is mostly dirt leftover when relatively warm but dirty ice sublimates. An initial coating of dark material may have been effectively painted on by the accretion of meteor-liberated debris from other moons. This and other images from Cassini's Iapetus flyby are being studied for even greater clues.

<< Previous APODDiscuss Any APOD Next APOD >>
[/b]

User avatar
Beyond
500 Gigaderps
Posts: 6889
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:09 am
Location: BEYONDER LAND

Re: APOD: Saturns Iapetus: Painted Moon (2012 Jan 13)

Post by Beyond » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:02 am

A white-washed moon. Apparently the white-washer left before finishing the job. Also, i clicked on NASA and got stuck there. I had to kill my IE9 to get out of it and then come back to Asterisk*. Usually if i get stuck somewhere, i just double click the back button, but that didn't work with the NASA link. Maybe someone dropped some super-glue into the link :?:
To find the Truth, you must go Beyond.

User avatar
geckzilla
Ocular Digitator
Posts: 9158
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Location: Modesto, CA

Re: APOD: Saturns Iapetus: Painted Moon (2012 Jan 13)

Post by geckzilla » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:39 am

Oh but Beyond, are you sure it's white-washed? Did you consider that its base is white and it is actually black-washed? ;)
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

User avatar
Beyond
500 Gigaderps
Posts: 6889
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:09 am
Location: BEYONDER LAND

Re: APOD: Saturns Iapetus: Painted Moon (2012 Jan 13)

Post by Beyond » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:55 am

ha-ha-ha, ok, six of one, a half dozen of the other. :mrgreen:
To find the Truth, you must go Beyond.

User avatar
starstruck
Science Officer
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:37 am

Re: APOD: Saturns Iapetus: Painted Moon (2012 Jan 13)

Post by starstruck » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:48 am

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
With that strange equatorial ridge, Iapetus looks like a giant walnut dusted with icing sugar! The similar outlines of the large impact craters, one superimposed over the other, makes it look like something double-stamped onto the surface. I wonder if the dark material could be volcanic material ejected from within long ago?

In the novel of 2001, Arthur C Clarke featured Iapetus as the site of the second monolith . . . the locations got changed slightly for the making of the film version; Saturn was only swapped for Jupiter!

I found this great message from Arthur C Clarke on the occasion of Cassini's first fly-by in September 2007 . .
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1897866/posts

and this is the video . . :arrow:

Byork

Re: APOD: Saturns Iapetus: Painted Moon (2012 Jan 13)

Post by Byork » Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:38 am

Walnut is an excellent nutrient which benefits healthy individuals and disturbed cases with cardiovascular irregularity. An apple a day does keep the doctor and much more away, but walnut is outright the ingredient of intelligence. Walnut oil moderates fatty deposits in capillary arteries and veins thereby allowing sufficient oxygen and nutrients to reach cerebral matter. The importance of walnut is particularly important nowadays considering all of theoretical junk food made from genetically manipulated material.

Iapetus has a walnut shape probably because particles suspended in the outer regions beyond Saturn ring fall freely along Iapetus equator. The particles clearly indicate that ring material extends into the orbit of Iapetus. Walnut shape suggests Iapetus is immersed in an extended but sparse region of Saturn ring. The paticles appear to have built up a mountain range rivaling the Himalaya. Careful examination of the constituents could yield the age of something.

User avatar
orin stepanek
Plutopian
Posts: 7101
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Nebraska

Re: APOD: Saturns Iapetus: Painted Moon (2012 Jan 13)

Post by orin stepanek » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:45 pm

I don't know; but it looks like Iapetus was in the wrong place when the ? hit the fan! :oops: :wink: It really does look a like a walnut ridge on the equator! What an interesting little moon!!! 8-)
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 11715
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: APOD: Saturns Iapetus: Painted Moon (2012 Jan 13)

Post by Ann » Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:31 pm

I feel a sort of fondness for this moon, if only because of its utter weirdness. Gotta love the oddballs sometimes!
Image
Besides... There is a picture where it looks as if there was snow on Iapetus. Not ice, but snow. Guess it's an illusion, but even I, the snow-hater, am completely bowled over by the mere fantasy of a moon in the solar system where there is snow.

Wow.







Ann
Color Commentator

M Taylor

Re: APOD: Saturns Iapetus: Painted Moon (2012 Jan 13)

Post by M Taylor » Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:41 pm

Not only is Iapetus an extraordinary object, but it was the subject of a quilt I comissioned for my wife.. only a handful of such objects to get such a treatment.

http://jimmymcbride.com/section/205341_Iapetus.html

It's her favorite astronomical object -- after the Sun and the Earth, of course.

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 11715
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: APOD: Saturns Iapetus: Painted Moon (2012 Jan 13)

Post by Ann » Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:44 pm

Wow, that's a lovely quilt! :D :D :D :D

Your wife must have loved it!

Ann
Color Commentator

Boomer12k
:---[===] *
Posts: 2691
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:07 am

Re: APOD: Saturns Iapetus: Painted Moon (2012 Jan 13)

Post by Boomer12k » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:18 pm

Looks like a Doughnut hole with white powdered sugar on it... :D

:---[====] *

FloridaMike
Science Officer
Posts: 413
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:21 pm
Location: Florida, USA

Re: APOD: Saturns Iapetus: Painted Moon (2012 Jan 13)

Post by FloridaMike » Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:56 pm

mmmm, Coco and powdered sugar covered Rum balls...

having a hard time getting all of the angles to work out for either a coco or sugar coating coming from the east. The east rim of the southern crater seems to throw things off.

User avatar
Beyond
500 Gigaderps
Posts: 6889
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:09 am
Location: BEYONDER LAND

Re: APOD: Saturns Iapetus: Painted Moon (2012 Jan 13)

Post by Beyond » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:38 am

It's a dark chocolate donut hole dusted with powdered sugar and some of the dark chocolate shows through.
To find the Truth, you must go Beyond.

TNT
Science Officer
Posts: 289
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:57 am
Location: Heart of America

Re: APOD: Saturns Iapetus: Painted Moon (2012 Jan 13)

Post by TNT » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:42 am

Dark chocolate is too bitter for me, though, so I'm going to have to rely on the sugar to sweeten things up. :wink:

Actually, to me, it looks like a scoop of cookies 'n' cream ice cream. I feel like having some now. :mrgreen:
The following statement is true.
The above statement is false.

biddie67
Science Officer
Posts: 483
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Possum Hollow, NW Florida

Re: APOD: Saturns Iapetus: Painted Moon (2012 Jan 13)

Post by biddie67 » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:03 am

Well Mr. Jimmy Mcbride ~or~ M Taylor .... whoever you are whenever you are in this dimension, fascinating Iapetus and beyond concept !!!

islader2

Re: APOD: Saturn's Iapetus: Painted Moon (2012 Jan 13)

Post by islader2 » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:47 am

@ M TAYLOR's wife==What a different idea for this APOD site! I love it! ^5 ^5 ^5 {high five}