PIA14580: Spongy Hyperion


Spongy Hyperion

Caption:

The sponge-like surface of Saturn's moon Hyperion is highlighted in this Cassini portrait, captured during the spacecraft's Sept. 16, 2011, flyby.

Hyperion (168 miles, or 270 kilometers across) has an irregular shape, and it tumbles through its orbit: that is, it does not spin at a constant rate or in a constant orientation. (A standard reference latitude-longitude system has not yet been devised for this moon.) Images such as this one extend previous coverage and allow a better inventory of the surface features, the satellite's shape and changes in its spin. See PIA06243 and PIA07761 to learn more and to watch a movie.

The image was taken in visible blue light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 55,000 miles (88,000 kilometers) from Hyperion and at a Sun-Hyperion-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 37 degrees. Image scale is 1,720 feet (524 meters) per pixel.

Background Info:

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 . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Hyperion Saturn, Sun
System Saturn
Target Type Satellite Planet, Sun
Mission Cassini-Huygens
Instrument Host Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Detector Narrow Angle Camera
Extra Keywords Grayscale
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2011-10-31
Date in Caption
Image Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA14580
Identifier PIA14580