Astronomy Picture of the Day
July 13, 2014

Mysterious Hyperion (Part IV)
Mysterious Hyperion (Part IV)

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

As the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft sped away from its Close Encounter with the Saturnian moon Hyperion - which occurred on September 26, 2005 - it took this parting shot of the battered and extremely unusually-looking moon's shadowy (and, as far as we can see and say, gray/bluish and lightly pink colored) Limb.

The image was taken in Visible Light, with the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft Narrow-Angle Camera at a distance of approximately 32.300 Km (such as about 20.058,3 miles) from Hyperion and at a Sun-Hyperion-Cassini Spacecraft, or Phase, Angle of 127°. The image scale here is roughly 192 meters (such as approx. 629,76 feet) 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 07739) 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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