This image represents Cassini's best view yet of Saturn's battered and chaotically rotating little moon Hyperion. Hyperion, pronounced "high-PEER-ee-on," is 266 kilometers (165 miles) across. Cassini was, at the time, speeding away from the Saturn system on its initial long, looping orbit. Hyperion has an irregular shape and is known to tumble erratically in its orbit. Cassini is scheduled to fly past this moon on September 26, 2005.
This image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on July 15, 2004, from a distance of about 6.7 million kilometers (4.1 million miles) from Hyperion. The Sun- Hyperion-spacecraft, or phase angle of this image is 95 degrees. The image scale is 40 kilometers (25 miles) per pixel. The image has been magnified by a factor of four to aid visibility.
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 Cassini-Huygens 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 team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and the Cassini imaging team home page, http://ciclops.org .
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute