CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Pitted Surface

Myriad shadows cover the pitted surface of Saturn's small moon Hyperion in this Cassini image.

See PIA09728 to learn how these pits are created on low-density Hyperion (270 kilometers, 168 miles across). To watch a movie of this tumbling moon, see PIA07683.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Nov. 8, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 834,000 kilometers (518,000 miles) from Hyperion and at a Sun-Hyperion-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 105 degrees. Scale in the original image was 5 kilometers (3 miles) per pixel. The image was contrast enhanced and magnified by a factor of two to enhance the visibility of surface features.

[Caption updated Oct. 24, 2011.]

The Cassini Equinox 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 Equinox Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: April 26, 2010 (PIA 12619)
Image/Caption Information
  Pitted Surface
PIA 12619

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