Moon Noir

Here’s another intriguing look at Helene, lit by sunlight from the right while some reflected light from its own highlands illuminates the interior of a valley/crater. Its dark side appears pitch black against the slightly brighter region of space behind, possibly lightened by the diffuse reflected light from ice particles in Saturn orbit. This is…

A Close Pass of Helene

On June 18, 2011, the Cassini spacecraft performed a flyby of Saturn’s moon Helene. Passing at a distance of 4,330 miles, it was its second-closest pass of the icy little moon.

Textured Trojan

First of all, get your mind out of the gutter. 😉 21-mile (35 km) -wide Helene is a “Trojan” moon of the much larger Dione, so called because it orbits Saturn within the path of Dione, 60º ahead of it. (Its little sister Trojan, 3-mile-wide Polydeuces, trails Dione at the rear 60º mark.) The Homeric…

Hello, Helene!

On March 3 the Cassini spacecraft flew by the 22-mile-wide Helene, an irregularly-shaped moon orbiting Saturn in the same path as the much larger Dione. Cassini was about 1,200 miles from the moon when this image was taken. See more photos of Helene on the Cassini imaging center website here. Image: NASA/JPL/SSI