»Himalaya« on Saturnian moon Iapetus

This animation shows a small part of the massive equatorial ridge on Iapetus. The ridge encircles the Saturnian moon along the equator.

Video: "Equatorial Ridge of Iapetus from Cassini ISS Imaging Data" von 2009 [4:00 min]
Copyright: NASA/JPL-Caltech/FU Berlin


The surface of this »Iapetus feature« is about 4.4 billion years old and pitted with many impact craters. The equatorial ridge on the moon is about 10 kilometers high and 1300 kilometers long. Several peaks even rise more than 20 kilometer above the surrounding plains. This movie was generated from a stereo image pair taken by the Cassini probe Sep 10, 2007.

The spacecraft Cassini explores Saturn and its numerous natural satellites since arriving in an orbit around the planet in 2004. The international space mission Cassini-Huygens is a joint project of NASA, ESA and ASI. Huygens, the landing capsule built by ESA, has been the first European contribution to a space mission to the Outer Solar System.

Link to download the full resolution video