CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Chaos at Hyperion
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Chaos at Hyperion
PIA 20512

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  The moon Hyperion tumbles as it orbits Saturn. Hyperion's (168 miles or 270 kilometers across) spin axis has a chaotic orientation in time, meaning that it is essentially impossible to predict how the moon will be spinning in the future. So far, scientists only know of a few bodies with such chaotic spins.

The image was taken in green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Aug. 22, 2016.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 203,000 miles (326,000 kilometers) from Hyperion and at a Sun-Hyperion-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 10 degrees. Image scale is 1 mile (2 kilometers) per pixel.


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.

For more information about the Cassini Solstice Mission visit http://ciclops.org, http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Released: December 5, 2016 (PIA 20512)
Image/Caption Information



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