CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Multicolor Hyperion

Hyperion appears to tumble toward Cassini in this movie that shows variations in color across the moon's surface.

The movie was created from 14 frames and represents about 12 hours as the spacecraft encountered Hyperion in early 2006. Most of the observable motion is due to the spacecraft's trajectory during the flyby.

The dark areas in the bottoms of craters are seen on all parts of Hyperion.

To create the false-color view in each frame, ultraviolet, green and infrared images were combined into a single picture that isolates and maps regional color differences. This "color map" was then superimposed over a clear-filter image that preserves the relative brightness across the body.

The combination of color map and brightness image shows how colors vary across Hyperion's surface. 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 surface material.

Hyperion is 270 kilometers (168 miles) across.

The images were taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Feb. 23, 2006 at a distance ranging from 1.3 million to 1 million kilometers (800,000 to 600,000 miles) from Hyperion. Image scale is about 4 kilometers (2 miles) 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 29, 2006 (PIA 08349)
Image/Caption Information
  Multicolor Hyperion
PIA 08349

Avg Rating: 8.73/10

Movie 400x400:
GIF 299 KB
Flash 193 KB


Multicolor Hyperion
PIA 08349

Avg Rating: 8.70/10

Still Image 400x400: