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Voyager swept past the Moon more than 20 years ago.
Why does Iapetus have a dark side and bright side? That's a mystery scientists hope that the Cassini spacecraft will be able to solve as it spends the next few years orbiting the Saturnian system. The unusual light/dark nature of the Moon was first revealed when the Voyager spacecraft swept past the Moon more than 20 years ago. One theory is that the Moon was coated by some other foreign material, but only on one side. Another idea is that it's being resurfaced from material inside the moon. This image was taken when Cassini was 3 million kilometres (1.8 million miles) away.
After several days of delays, NASA's Aura Earth observation satellite launched on Thursday atop a Boeing Delta II rocket. The liftoff was from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 1002 UTC (6:02 am EDT), and the spacecraft separated 64 minutes later. Once its science mission begins in the next few months, Aura will sample the Earth's atmosphere to help scientists answer several questions: is the ozone layer recovering? what processes affect air quality? and how is the Earth's climate changing?
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