CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Color Variation on Hyperion

Color Variation on Hyperion
PIA 07768

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  Hyperion's crater Meri blooms in this extreme color-enhanced view. Meri is overprinted by a couple of smaller craters and displays dark material on its floor that is characteristic of many impact sites on this moon. The walls of craters seen here are notably smoother on their sloping sides than around their craggy rims.

This crater is also visible at lower right in the large Hyperion mosaic, PIA07761.

To create this false-color view, ultraviolet, green and infrared images were combined into a single black and white picture that isolates and maps regional color differences. This "color map" was then superposed over a clear-filter image.

The combination of color map and brightness image shows how the colors vary across the moon's surface in relation to geologic features. The origin of the color differences is not yet understood, but may be caused by subtle differences in the surface composition or the sizes of grains making up the icy soil.

The images used to create this false-color view were acquired on September 26, 2005 at a mean distance of 17,900 kilometers (11,100 miles) from Hyperion. Image scale is about 110 meters (360 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: December 6, 2005 (PIA 07768)
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