LightSail-A has successfully launched!

Track the Mission

Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Blogs

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Holey Hyperion!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

26-08-2011 5:43 CDT

Topics: pretty pictures, Cassini, Saturn's small moons, Saturn's moons

Yesterday Cassini passed unusually close by Hyperion, the oddly shaped moon that orbits Saturn just beyond Titan. Among the many cool images captured during this flyby were three that I used to make this neato view of Hyperion's crescent. Actually, I needed four pictures, because the three-image mosaic cut off the "nose" of Hyperion, the bit of limb on the right.

Crescent Hyperion

NASA / JPL / SSI / mosaic by Emily Lakdawalla

Crescent Hyperion
As Cassini approached Hyperion for a close encounter on August 25, 2011, it snapped a three-image mosaic of the sponge-like moon at a crescent phase. The mosaic did not quite cover the entire visible crescent, so a wide-angle image (with a resolution 10 times lower than the other images) was used to fill in a small area on the "nose."

There were other nice mosaics and color image sets captured after closest approach -- go visit Cassini's raw images website to see more, and visit the Hyperion flyby thread on the unmannedspaceflight.com forum to watch what the amateurs do with these cool data!

A bit of trivia: Hyperion is only about half the diameter of Vesta, and has the weird property of having a density barely more than half that of water ice. Since there's nothing much in the solar system that's less dense than water ice when solid, that means Hyperion's interior must be nearly half empty space, with lots of open pores between ice grains.

 
See other posts from August 2011

 

Or read more blog entries about: pretty pictures, Cassini, Saturn's small moons, Saturn's moons

Comments:

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

LightSail - Kickstarter

Support LightSail!

The excitement is building! LightSail is counting down to our test launch, set for May 20—and you’re invited.

I want to help!

Featured Images

Real-time sunset on Mars
Atlas V at night
Crescent Ceres, April 30, 2015
51 views of Ceres, Dawn Rotation Characterization 3, May 4, 2015
More Images

Featured Video

Solar Sailing

Watch Now

Selfies to Space!

Take flight with a selfie on LightSail™ in 2016!

Send a Selfie Now

Join the New Millennium Committee

Let’s invent the future together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!