This view was obtained at a distance of approximately 324,000 miles (521,000 kilometers) from Hyperion and at a Sun-Hyperion-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 90 degrees. Hyperion (270 kilometers, 168 miles across) has an irregular shape, and it tumbles through its orbit: that is, it does not spin at a constant rate or in a constant orientation. (A standard reference latitude-longitude system has not yet been devised for this moon.) See PIA06243 and PIA07761 to learn more and to watch a movie.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 25, 2012. Scale in the original image was 2 miles (3 kilometers) per pixel. The image was contrast enhanced and magnified by a factor of 1.5 to enhance the visibility of surface features.
The Cassini Solstice Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. 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 was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. 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.