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Solar System Exploration
Helene: Overview
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The Cassini spacecraft imaged the surface of Saturn's moon Helene as the spacecraft flew by the moon on 31 January 2011.

Helene, a small and faint moon of Saturn, is referred to as a Trojan satellite because it orbits Saturn in the Lagrange point of the larger moon Dione.

Helene was discovered 1March 1980 during the Earth ring-plane crossing by J. Lecacheux and others.

How Helene Got its Name:
John Herschel suggested that the moons of Saturn be associated with mythical brothers and sisters of Kronus. (Kronus is the equivalent of the Roman god Saturn in Greek mythology.) The International Astronomical Union now controls the official naming of astronomical bodies.

Originally designated S/1980 S6, Helene is named after the granddaughter of Kronus and is the sister of Polydeuces. Helene was born out of an egg since Zeus took the shape of a swan when he raped her mother Leda. The account of this engendering is retold in the poem "Leda and the Swan" by William Butler Yeats. This same figure in Greek mythology was the cause of the Trojan War.

Just the Facts
Orbit Size (semi-major axis):  377,420 km
Mean Radius:  17.6 km
Volume:  22,836 km3
Mass:  11,389,880,091,538,700 kg
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Last Updated: 12 Aug 2013