Although travelling at great speed, the Cassini spacecraft managed to capture this close view of Saturn's small moon Helene during a flyby on March 3, 2010.
Saturn's atmosphere makes up the background of this composition. See PIA12653 for another image taken during this closest flyby of Helene.
This view looks toward the anti-Saturn side of Helene (33 kilometers, or 21 miles across). North on Helene is up and rotated 44 degrees to the right.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 19,000 kilometers (12,000 miles) from Helene and at a sun-Helene-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 25 degrees. Image scale is 113 meters (371 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 mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.