False Colour View of Hyperion

by Fraser Cain on August 4, 2006

Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter

This view of Saturn’s moon Hyperion has been given false colour enhancements to highlight its geologic features. Photographs in ultraviolet, green, and infrared were combined together on computer, and then superimposed over a clear-filter image to preserve brightness. Scientists don’t fully understand why Hyperion has the variations, but it could be due to the size of the ice grains on its surface.

This extreme false-color view of Hyperion shows color variation across the impact-blasted surface of the tumbling moon.

To create this false-color view, ultraviolet, green and infrared images were combined into a single picture that isolates and maps regional color differences. This “color map” was then superposed over a clear-filter image that preserves the relative brightness across the body.

The combination of the color map and brightness image shows how colors vary across Hyperion’s surface in relation to geologic features. The origin of the color differences is not yet understood, but may be caused by subtle differences in the surface composition or the sizes of grains making up the icy surface material on Hyperion (280 kilometers, or 174 miles across).

The images used to create this view were acquired using the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 28, 2006 at a distance of approximately 294,000 kilometers (183,000 miles) from Hyperion. Image scale is 2 kilometers (1 mile) per pixel.

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.

Original Source: NASA/JPL/SSI News Release

About 

Fraser Cain is the publisher of Universe Today. He's also the co-host of Astronomy Cast with Dr. Pamela Gay.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: