CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Rosy Tan Moon

Rosy Tan Moon
PIA 08240

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  Unlike most of the dull grey moons in the Solar System, Hyperion's surface is a rosy tan, as this view shows.

The origin of the moon's unusual hue is not precisely known, although some scientists suspect the color comes from small outer Saturnian moons on retrograde orbits. A similar origin is likely for the dark reddish material on Saturn's moon Iapetus.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 28, 2006 at a distance of approximately 291,000 kilometers (181,000 miles) from Hyperion. Image scale is 2 kilometers (1 mile) 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: August 10, 2006 (PIA 08240)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Oct 11, 2008 at 6:24 PM):
That's Interesting - it's not dull gray. But its very low density is a mystery for me. Its low gravity allows it to stay in the sponge-like state.