CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

High-Res Helene
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Cassini snapped this image of Saturn's moon Helene while completing the spacecraft's second-closest encounter of the moon on June 18, 2011.

Although Cassini's closest flyby of Helene was in March 2010 (see PIA12723 and PIA12653), this June 2011 flyby yielded some of the highest resolution images of the moon.

Lit terrain seen here is on the leading hemisphere of Helene (33 kilometers, 21 miles across). North on Helene is up.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 7,000 kilometers (4,000 miles) from Helene and at a Sun-Helene-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 104 degrees. Image scale is 42 meters (137 feet) per pixel.

The Cassini Solstice Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. 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 was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini Solstice Mission visit, and

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI
Released: July 4, 2011 (PIA 12773)
Image/Caption Information
  High-Res Helene
PIA 12773

Avg Rating: 9.65/10

Full Size 1040x1040:
PNG 174 KB

Alliance Member Comments
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Oct 23, 2011 at 4:28 PM):
Very few craters, a smooth surface -- Very amazing !

And a lot of new formations looking very interesting.
( A lot to see on such a small moon )
Iapetus Monolith (Aug 26, 2011 at 1:45 PM):
Dear Helene, how did you get to be such a smoothie? Dear Ciclops, again you take my breath away ... you people are worth your weight in gold.
Robert (Aug 25, 2011 at 10:26 PM):
The depth of detail of the impact grooves is spectacular! The formations are both striking and unusual. It never ceases to amaze me the skills of the imaging team, and those of the spacecraft's navigators.
rochelimit (Jul 16, 2011 at 9:51 AM):
Wow, amazing gravity . . .
Red_dragon (Jul 4, 2011 at 7:48 AM):
Great stuff as always. It's really interesting to observ how Helene has so few (and little) craters, in concordance with being a pile of rubble.