Tuesday, May 10, 2005

New Hyperion Image: What's the Spin?

CICLOPS has released this processed view of Saturn's moon Hyperion, taken in mid-March. This view shows a 130-km wide impact crater at the top of this view. Hyperion rotates chaotically, rather than regularly like nearly all other satellites in the solar system, though a few spin states are common. This is the second-highest resolution view of Hyperion so far taken with an original resolution of 8 km/pixel (this image has been magnified 2x for easier feature visibility). Next month, Cassini will have a distant encounter of Hyperion from a distance of 166,000 km, producing resolutions on the order of 1 km/pixel. Then, in September, Cassini will have a targeted close encounter with Hyperion, coming within 500 km of this chaotic moon.


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