Cassini captures ice queen Helene

Jun 21, 2011
NASA's Cassini spacecraft obtained this unprocessed image of Saturn's moon Helene on June 18, 2011. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Cassini spacecraft has successfully completed its second-closest encounter with Saturn's icy moon Helene, beaming down raw images of the small moon. At closest approach, on June 18, Cassini flew within 4,330 miles (6,968 kilometers) of Helene's surface. It was the second closest approach to Helene of the entire mission.

Cassini passed from Helene's night side to the moon's sunlit side. It also captured images of the Saturn-facing side of the moon in sunlight, a region that was only illuminated by sunlight reflected off the last time Cassini was close, in March 2010. This will enable scientists to finish creating a global map of Helene, so they can better understand the history of impacts to the moon and gully-like features seen on previous flybys.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft obtained this unprocessed image of Saturn's moon Helene on June 18, 2011. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The closest Helene encounter of the mission took place on March 10, 2010, when Cassini flew within 1,131 miles (1,820 kilometers) of the moon.

Explore further: SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

More information: The latest raw images are online at: saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/photos/raw/

Related Stories

Cassini captures Rhea coming down

Jan 13, 2011

Raw images obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft from the closest flyby of Saturn's moon Rhea have begun streaming to Cassini's raw image page.

Cassini Set to Do Retinal Scan of Saturnian Eyeball

Feb 12, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- On Feb. 13, 2010, NASA's Cassini spacecraft will make its closest examination yet of Mimas, an eyeball-shaped moon of Saturn that has also been likened to the Death Star of "Star Wars." The ...

Cassini flies by Saturn's tortured moon Mimas

Aug 05, 2005

On its recent close flyby of Mimas (MY-muss), the Cassini spacecraft found the Saturnian moon looking battered and bruised, with a surface that may be the most heavily cratered in the Saturn system.

Cassini Attempts 12th Titan Flyby

Feb 28, 2006

NASA's Cassini spacecraft returns to Titan on Monday for its twelfth flyby since beginning to survey Saturn and its moons on July 4, 2004.

Cassini gazes at veiled Titan

Sep 23, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Cassini spacecraft will swing high over Saturn's moon Titan on Friday, Sept. 24, taking a long, sustained look at the hazy moon. At closest approach, Cassini will fly within 8,175 kilometers ...

Recommended for you

SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

19 hours ago

The sun emitted a mid-level flare on Dec. 18, 2014, at 4:58 p.m. EST. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts ...

Why is Venus so horrible?

Dec 19, 2014

Venus sucks. Seriously, it's the worst. The global temperature is as hot as an oven, the atmospheric pressure is 90 times Earth, and it rains sulfuric acid. Every part of the surface of Venus would kill you ...

Image: Christmas wrapping the Sentinel-3A antenna

Dec 19, 2014

The moment a team of technicians, gowned like hospital surgeons, wraps the Sentinel-3A radar altimeter in multilayer insulation to protect it from the temperature extremes found in Earth orbit.

Video: Flying over Becquerel

Dec 19, 2014

This latest release from the camera on ESA's Mars Express is a simulated flight over the Becquerel crater, showing large-scale deposits of sedimentary material.

Spinning up a dust devil on Mars

Dec 19, 2014

Spinning up a dust devil in the thin air of Mars requires a stronger updraft than is needed to create a similar vortex on Earth, according to research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

LKD
4 / 5 (1) Jun 21, 2011
"Cassini captures ice queen Helene". Helene is reported to have told Cassini that she would never no matter the situation. Sorry, please forgive the joke, I couldn't resist.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.