Hyperion pops into view in this image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
The moon looks a bit like a sponge and has unusual dimensions, 328 by 260 by 214 kilometers (204 by 162 by 132 miles).
Craters are visible on the moon's surface down to the limit of resolution in this image, which is about 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) per pixel. Like a sponge, Hyperion's density seems to indicate that it is porous and much of its interior is filled with voids.
Dark material is concentrated in the bottoms of visible craters. This may have been caused by the downslope movement of material, combined with ice changing from solid to gaseous state.
The image was taken with the narrow angle camera during a distant encounter with Hyperion on June 10, 2005. It was acquired from a distance of about 176,000 kilometers (109,000 miles) using a spectral filter sensitive to ultraviolet wavelengths centered at 338 nanometers.
A separate, stereo (or 3D) version of the scene is also available (see PIA06244). A movie sequence from this encounter is also available (see PIA06243). The image has been contrast-enhanced to aid visibility.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. For additional images visit the Cassini imaging team homepage http://ciclops.org.