CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Cassini came close to the small moon Helene on Feb. 25, 2006, acquiring this high resolution view. This object seems to be buried in its own crater debris the way Telesto is.

Helene (33 kilometers, 21 miles across) orbits 60 degrees ahead of Dione in the larger moon's orbit, making it a "Trojan" moon of Dione. Trojan moons are named for the Trojan group of asteroids that orbit 60 degrees ahead of and behind Jupiter as it circles the Sun. (Telesto is a Trojan moon of Tethys.)

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera at a distance of approximately 68,000 kilometers (42,000 miles) from Helene and at a Sun-Helene-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 99 degrees. Image scale is 406 meters (1,334 feet) per pixel.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. 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-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: December 29, 2006 (PIA 08335)
Image/Caption Information
PIA 08335

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