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EarthSky // Today's Image Release Date: Jan 31, 2014

Yin and yang of Saturn’s moon Iapetus

In this image, Saturn’s moon Iapetus looks similar to the Chinese taiji symbol, what many call the yin-yang symbol, representing nature’s duality.

New Cassini photo of Saturn's moon Iapetus shows the satellite's dark and light sides as resembling the yin and yang symbol in Chinese philosophy.   Image via NASA/JPL Caltech/Space Science Institute.

New Cassini photo of Saturn’s moon Iapetus shows the satellite’s dark and light sides as resembling the yin and yang symbol in Chinese philosophy. Image via NASA/JPL Caltech/Space Science Institute.

NASA recently released this Cassini spacecraft image of Saturn’s moon Iapetus. The image, actually taken last August, shows Iapetus looking strikingly similar to the Chinese taiji symbol, what many called the yin-yang symbol. This symbol represents nature’s duality: up and down, black and white, hot and cold.

And, in fact, there are yin and yang aspects to Saturn’s moon. It’s sometimes called a two-faced moon because one side appears dark (yin), and the other side is light (yang). Read more: Hal Levison on Saturn’s weird moon Iapetus

Chinese New Year on January 31, 2014 rings in Year of the Horse

Cassini captured the first high-resolution glimpse of the bright trailing hemisphere of Saturn's moon Iapetus in this false-color mosaic from September 2007.   Read about this image at Wikimedia Commons.

Cassini captured the first high-resolution glimpse of the bright trailing hemisphere of Saturn’s moon Iapetus in this false-color mosaic from September 2007. Read about this image at Wikimedia Commons.

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