PIA07740: Odd World
Target Name: Hyperion
Is a satellite of: Saturn
Mission: Cassini-Huygens
Spacecraft: Cassini Orbiter
Instrument: Imaging Science Subsystem - Narrow Angle
Product Size: 1024 x 1024 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Cassini Imaging Team
Primary Data Set: Cassini
Full-Res TIFF: PIA07740.tif (3.15 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA07740.jpg (120.7 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Updated Caption: (View Original Caption)

This stunning false-color view of Saturn's moon Hyperion reveals crisp details across the strange, tumbling moon's surface. Differences in color could represent differences in the composition of surface materials. The view was obtained during Cassini's close flyby on Sept. 26, 2005.

Hyperion has a notably reddish tint when viewed in natural color. The red color was toned down in this false-color view, and the other hues were enhanced, in order to make more subtle color variations across Hyperion's surface more apparent.

Cassini scientists think that Hyperionís unusual appearance can be attributed to the fact that it has an unusually low density for such a large object, giving it weak surface gravity and high porosity. These characteristics help preserve the original shapes of Hyperionís craters by limiting the amount of impact ejecta coating the moonís surface. Impactors tend to make craters by compressing the surface material, rather than blasting it out. Further, Hyperionís weak gravity, and correspondingly low escape velocity, means that what little ejecta is produced has a good chance of escaping the moon altogether.

Images taken using infrared, green and ultraviolet spectral filters were combined to create this view. The images were taken with the Cassini spacecraft's narrow-angle camera at a distance of approximately 62,000 kilometers (38,500 miles) from Hyperion and at a Sun-Hyperion-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 52 degrees. The image scale is 362 meters (1,200 feet) per pixel.

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 operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in 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.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Image Addition Date:
2005-09-29