Status Report

NASA Cassini Image: Color Variation on Hyperion

By SpaceRef Editor
December 15, 2005
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Full-Res: PIA07768

Saturn’s moon 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 noticeably smoother on their sloping sides than around their craggy rims.

This crater is also visible at lower right in the large Hyperion mosaic (see Cosmic Blasting Zone).

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 superimposed 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 Sept. 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 mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at .

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

SpaceRef staff editor.