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Cassini's View of Tiny Hyperion.

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Cassini's View of Hyperion: Image credit: NASA/JPL/SSI.

This is the best picture that Cassini's taken so far of Hyperion, one of Saturn's smaller moons (266 kilometers, 165 miles across ). The picture was taken on July 15, when Cassini was about 6.7 million km (4.1 million miles) away. Hyperion has an irregular shape, and it's known to tumble erratically as it orbits around Saturn. Cassini will get a much closer view when it does a flyby on September 26, 2005.

This image represents Cassini’s best view yet of Saturn’s battered and chaotically rotating little Moon Hyperion (266 kilometers, 165 miles across). Cassini was, at the time, speeding away from the Saturn system on its initial long, looping orbit.

Hyperion has an irregular shape and is known to tumble erratically in its orbit. Cassini is slated to fly past this Moon on September 26, 2005.

The image was taken in visible light with the narrow angle camera on July 15, 2004, from a distance of about 6.7 million kilometers (4.1 million miles) from Hyperion and at a Sun- Hyperion-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 95 degrees. The image scale is 40 kilometers (25 miles) per pixel. The image has been magnified by a factor of four to aid visibility.

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 Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colorado.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and the Cassini imaging team home page, http://ciclops.org.

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