Myriad shadows cover the pitted surface of Saturn's small moon Hyperion in this Cassini spacecraft image.
See Chiseled Away to learn how these pits are created on low-density Hyperion (270 kilometers, or 168 miles across). To watch a movie of this tumbling moon, see Rough and Tumble Hyperion.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Nov. 8, 2009. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 834,000 kilometers (518,000 miles) from Hyperion and at a Sun-Hyperion-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 105 degrees. Scale in the original image was 5 kilometers (3 miles) per pixel. The image was contrast enhanced and magnified by a factor of two to enhance the visibility of surface features.
[Caption updated Oct. 24, 2011.]
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 http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute