CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Hyperion Raw Preview #5
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Hyperion Raw Preview #5
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  This unprocessed image was taken during Cassini's close approach to Hyperion on September 26, 2005.

The image was taken with the narrow angle camera from a distance of approximately 61,800 kilometers (38,400 miles) from Hyperion and at a Sun-Hyperion-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 52 degrees. Resolution in the image is about 368 meters (1,208 feet) 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 Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: September 26, 2005
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
Mercury_3488 (Dec 8, 2008 at 1:35 PM):
Hi Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971,

Hyperion's ultra low density amazes me. 0.55 g cm3, the least dense solid object known in the solar system.

The deep craters certainly looked like punched in material, although IIRC many are thought to have burned into the ice with dark floors absorbing the little solar radiation this far from the Sun.

I am aware that there are no further very close passes planned for Hyperion, but are any decent further passes possible, lets say less than 100,000 KM? Or for that matter, any of the other minor moons other than the close Helene pass planned? A closeish pass of Mimas would also be quite interesting, particularly with density measurements & to see whether or not the surface is peppered with smaller & smaller craters, or they cut off below a certain size, as with Jupiter's Callisto?

Andrew Brown.
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Oct 11, 2008 at 6:07 PM):
The largest crater visible here is startingly large, it's about the same size as Hyperion's dimensions. ( At least I believe it to be a crater. ) I think that when that crater was produced Hyperion broke up. Then its fragments got lost from its orbit and one large fragment remained the Hyperion of today. I roughly estimated the size of the old ( icy, spherical ) Hyperion: 600 to 800 km in diameter.

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