August 10, 2006
Unlike most of the dull grey moons in the Solar System, Hyperion's color is a rosy tan, as this view shows.
The origin of the moon's unusual hue is not known. Some scientists suspect the color comes from falling debris from moons farther out. A similar origin has been suggested for the dark reddish material on Saturn's moon Iapetus.
Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 28, 2006 at a distance of approximately 291,000 kilometers (181,000 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