Cassini caught this glimpse of Hyperion as the moon tumbled chaotically in its orbit around Saturn. Hyperion is a heavily cratered moon, and in this image it shows a dark spot that may be one of its many large craters. Hyperion's diameter is 266 kilometers (156 miles).
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on September 12, 2004, at a distance of 8.8 million kilometers (5.4 million miles) from Hyperion and at a Sun-Hyperion-spacecraft or phase, angle of 90 degrees. The image scale is 53 kilometers (33 miles) per pixel. The image was 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