Chaotically tumbling and seriously eroded by impacts, Hyperion is one of Saturn's more unusual satellites. Scientists believe the moon to be quite porous, with a great deal of its volume being empty space.
Impact blasted Hyperion is 280 kilometers (174 miles) across. Only part of the moon is visible in this image, the rest being hidden in shadow.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 930 nanometers. The view was acquired on Feb. 15, 2007 at a distance of approximately 224,000 kilometers (139,000 miles) from Hyperion. Image scale is 1 kilometer (3,281 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/home/index.cfm. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.