September 14, 2007
Giant craters like the one seen in this view deform the shape of Hyperion, making it the largest irregularly shaped body in the Saturn System.
The moon has such a low density -- about half that of water -- and such low gravity that impactors tend to compress its surface, rather than excavating it, and most material that is blown outward never comes back. Hyperion is 280 kilometers (174 miles) across.
The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 23, 2007. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 318,000 kilometers (198,000 miles) from Hyperion. Image scale is 2 kilometers (1 mile) 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.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute