Astronomy Picture of the Day
July 10, 2014

Mysterious Hyperion (Part II)
Mysterious Hyperion (Part II)

Credits: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF

Saturn's tumbling and highly irregularly shaped moon Hyperion is completely covered with large Pits (actually, nobody can say for sure if they are real Impact Craters, or some other form of Surface Depressions, whose nature is/would be still unknown) from which - if the Features we see here - as well as in yesterday's picture - were actually Impact Craters - much of the Sub-Surface Material that was unearthed by the Impacts themselves must have been blasted away in the Saturnian Space, never to return (---> fall back) on Hyperion.

As a matter of fact, Hyperion's Surface Gravity is so low that the Crater-ejected Material often (we would say, as IPF, always) escapes Hyperion entirely. As you know, Hyperion is about 280 Km (such as approx. 173,88 miles) across on average (acrually, at its largest extent).

The image was taken in Visible Light with the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft Narrow-Angle Camera on October, 21, 2007. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 151.000 Km (such as about 93.771 miles) from Hyperion and at a Sun-Hyperion-Cassini Spacecraft (or "Phase") Angle of 111°. Image scale is roughly 906 meters (such as approx. 0,5626 miles) per pixel.

This frame (which is an Original NASA - CASSINI Spacecraft's b/w and NON Map-Projected image published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 09790) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, magnified to aid the visibility of the details, Gamma corrected and then colorized - according to an educated guess (or, if you wish, an informed speculation) carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga - in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a human eye would actually perceive if someone were onboard the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft and then looked outside, towards the Saturnian moon "Hyperion"), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team. Different colors, as well as different shades of the same color, mean, among other things, the existence of different Elements (Minerals) present on the Surface of Hyperion, each having a different Albedo (---> Reflectivity) and Chemical Composition.

Note: it is possible (but we, as IPF, have no way to be one-hundred-percent sure of such a circumstance), that the actual luminosity of Hyperion - as it is in this frame - would appear, to an average human eye, a little bit lower than it has been shown (or, better yet: interpreted) here.

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