Goodbye, Hyperion! We hardly knew you.
Cassini made its final fly-by of Saturn’s moon Hyperion on May 31, and now NASA has released those last few pictures that it managed to grab in route. Cassini still has a few more years yet before it’s through — we’re undoubtedly going to see plenty more strange and beautiful things before the end — but Hyperion was something unique in the universe.
With an appearance that’s somewhere halfway between a sea-sponge and a packing peanut (which I mean in only the best, most complimentary way possible), Hyperion is more than a just another moon: It’s an anomaly, a misshapen and erratically-orbiting satellite with a checkered past, one that only got stranger the closer we looked at it.
With these most recent images, we’ve probably seen the last of our favorite galactic sea-sponge in our lifetimes. So, here’s a few more stills from Cassini’s final Hyperion trip — for old time’s sake:
Images: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute.