Saturn's small, irregularly shaped moon Helene is strikingly illuminated in this close view captured by Cassini during the spacecraft's June 18, 2011, flyby.
Although it is not visible at this exposure, the planet actually fills the dark background of this image of Helene. See PIA12773 for another close-up from this encounter.
This view looks toward the anti-Saturn side of Helene (33 kilometers, or 21 miles across). North on Helene is up. Lit terrain on the right is on the leading hemisphere while lit terrain at the top of the image surrounds the north pole.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 11,000 kilometers (7,000 miles) from Helene and at a Sun-Helene-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 151 degrees. Image scale is 67 meters (220 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.