Astronomy Picture of the Day
June 5, 2015

Farewell Hyperion! (Part I)
Farewell Hyperion! (Part I)

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

The NASA - Cassini Spacecraft's Imaging Scientists processed this view of Saturn's so-called "spongy" moon Hyperion, which was taken during a close Fly-By that occurred on May 31, 2015. This Fly-By marks the Mission's Final Close Approach to this Saturnian highly irregularly shaped moon. North on Hyperion is up and rotated 37° to the right (Dx).

The image was taken with the NASA - Cassini Spacecraft's Narrow-Angle Camera - as we wrote herebefore - on May 31, 2015, by using a Spectral Filter which preferentially admits Wavelengths of Near-InfraRed Light, centered at 862 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approx. 37.000 miles (such as about 59.545,58 Km) from Hyperion, and at a Sun-Hyperion-Cassini Spacecraft, or Phase, Angle of 20°. The Image Scale is roughly 1180 feet (such as approx. 359,664 meters) 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 17193) has been additionally processed, contrast enhanced, magnified to help the visibility of the Surface details, Gamma corrected and then re-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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