Hyperion closely observed, it is one of the strangest objects in the solar system. This reddish small moon of Saturn, very dark measuring 266 km average diameter. This is an irregularly shaped body incredibly spongy.
Hyperion has many dark meteorite craters on its surface, the largest measures 120 km in diameter and 10 km deep. His deeply enigmatic area dotted with craters, has a unique appearance, no other moon in the solar system looks like it, moons have a generally more or less smooth surface.
Under his dark area of a few tens of meters thick, we guess shiny materials. The low density of Hyperion indicates that this moon is mainly composed of ice with a small amount of rock and a lot of empty spaces.
It looks like a potato-shaped sponge or a wasp nest.
The impact crater walls are bright like a skating rink, while the crater floors are dull reddish color. Of course there are no lava, the average temperature on Hyperion as in many moons, is −180 degrees Celsius.
On Hyperion, all the molecules are frozen, carbon dioxide, water, methane, carbon dust and hydrocarbons.
The small rebel moon of Saturn rotates on itself in a chaotic manner as tossed on an eccentric orbit. In other words, the object does not rotate at a constant speed or in a constant orientation its axis of rotation varies enormously. No latitude longitude reference system could be established for this moon. This is due to Saturn and especially to the large moon Titan.
Hyperion resonates with Titan, Titan performs four orbits around Saturn when Hyperion done in three. When Hyperion passes next to Titan, it undergoes a complex set of gravitational variations because Hyperion is 20 times smaller than Titan. Its rotation and orbit are affected, Titan has a diameter of ≈5150 km, Titan is larger than Mercury. But this resonance 3: 4 with Titan has allowed it to retain its freedom of rotation, indeed without Titan, Hyperion's rotation on itself is synchronous, face locked the enormous planet Saturn.
But it is nothing, as the enormous moon Titan is locked in synchronous rotation with Saturn, the little Hyperion rotates freely on itself at about the 13 days and around Saturn in 21 days. This allows it to better distribute the heat received low. Hyperion therefore lives on an island of orbital stability that allows it to show all its aspects to our space probes to the delight of scientists.
Image: The low density indicates that Hyperion is composed primarily of ice with a small amount of rock. Hyperion's rotation is chaotic, its axis of rotation varies so much that its orientation in space is impossible to predict. Hyperion is unique in its shape wasp nest, and riddled surface of strange craters could conceal a vast network of caves.