Charley Kohlhase’s Solar System

The images that awed Voyager’s mission designer

(Courtesy Charley Kohlhase)

Iapetus, Saturn's Moon


“Having been a fan of Arthur C. Clarke and his 2001: A Space Odyssey, I had always wondered why the book’s journey was to the 'eye of Iapetus,' while the movie chose Jupiter as its destination. Saturn’s moon Iapetus could always be seen by early astronomers when going away from their telescopes, only to disappear when emerging from behind Saturn. The answer was clear: its leading hemisphere was as dark as tar, its trailing hemisphere as bright as snow. This Voyager 2 image taken on August 22, 1981 provided clear proof.”


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