Iapetus Facts for Kids

A Picture of Saturn's Moon Iapetus
  • Moon Name: Iapetus
  • Designation: Saturn VIII
  • Date Discovered: October 25th, 1671
  • Discovered by: G.D. Cassini
  • Average Orbit of Saturn: 2,212,610 miles
  • Total Mass: 1,990,721,769,947,960,064 tons
  • Surface Area: 2,625,400.32 square miles

17 Iapetus Facts for Kids

  1. Iapetus is one of Saturn’s 82 known moons (natural satellites).
  2. Iapetus is named after a Titan god in Greek mythology.
  3. Iapetus is also designated as Saturn VIII.
  4. Iapetus was discovered on October 25th, 1671 by Giovanni Domenico Cassini.
  5. The average orbit distance for Iapetus is 2,212,610 mi.
  6. The diameter of the moon Iapetus is 912.79 mi.
  7. The surface area of the moon Iapetus is 2,625,400.32 mi2.
  8. It takes Iapetus about 79 days to completely orbit Saturn.
  9. It takes Iapetus about 10 hours to complete a full rotation.
  10. Iapetus is the third largest moon orbiting Saturn.
  11. Iapetus is the eleventh largest moon in our Solar System.
  12. The shape of Iapetus is like that of a walnut.
  13. Iapetus is mostly made up of ice water and about 20% of its mass is rock.
  14. The largest crater on Iapetus is Turgis and has a diameter of 360 mi.
  15. The Cassini spacecraft has taken several photos of Iapetus, with the closest at a range of 762 mi away.
  16. One hypothesis of Iapetus formation is it was the formed out of the results of a series of massive impacts between pre-existing moons in Saturn’s orbit.
  17. In the 1968 novel 2001: A Space Odyssey the monolith featured at the climax is on Iapetus.

Additional Resources on Saturn’s Moon Iapetus

  • In Depth View of Iapetus – Discover Saturn’s moon Iapetus on the NASA Science Solar System Exploration website.
  • Iapetus Moon Data – Compare the moon Iapetus and our planet Earth on the NASA Science Solar System Exploration website.
  • Iapetus Moon Pictures – View photos of the moon Iapetus taken my NASA spacecrafts on the JPL Photojournal website.
  • Iapetus (Moon) – Wikipedia – Learn more about the Saturn’s moon Iapetus on the Wikipedia website.