Hyperion: photo gallery


An image of Hyperion taken with the Cassini 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 km (139,000 mi). Image scale is 1 km (3,281 ft) per pixel.


The images used to create this false-color view of the crater Meri on Hyperion were acquired on Sep 26, 2005, at a mean distance of 17,900 km (11,100 mi). Image scale is about 110 m (360 ft) per pixel.

The following images and text of Saturn's moon Hyperion are from NASA's Planetary Photojournal. For more information, see the main encyclopedia entry for Hyperion.


The top image shown here was captured by Cassini on February 15, 2007. 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 bottom image was also captured by Cassini, on September 26, 2005. Hyperion's crater, Meri, blooms in this extreme color-enhanced view. Meri is overprinted by a couple of smaller craters and displays dark material on its floor that is characteristic of many impact sites on this moon. The walls of craters seen here are noticeably smoother on their sloping sides than around their craggy rims. To create this false-color view, ultraviolet, green, and infrared images were combined into a single black and white picture that isolates and maps regional color differences. This "color map" was then superimposed over a clear-filter image. The combination of color map and brightness image shows how the colors vary across the moon's surface in relation to geologic features. The origin of the color differences is not yet understood, but may be caused by subtle differences in the surface composition or the sizes of grains making up the icy soil.