Image: Chaos at Hyperion

Image: Chaos at Hyperion
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The moon Hyperion tumbles as it orbits Saturn. Hyperion's (168 miles or 270 kilometers across) spin axis has a chaotic orientation in time, meaning that it is essentially impossible to predict how the moon will be spinning in the future. So far, scientists only know of a few bodies with such chaotic spins.

The image was taken in with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Aug. 22, 2016.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 203,000 miles (326,000 kilometers) from Hyperion and at a Sun-Hyperion-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 10 degrees. Image scale is 1 mile (2 kilometers) per pixel.

Explore further

Image: Saturn's moons Tethys and Hyperion

Provided by NASA
Citation: Image: Chaos at Hyperion (2016, December 6) retrieved 23 July 2021 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments