If you have a pair of those red-blue 3D specs, now’s the time to fish them out and float along beside Helene. To wit:
Appropriately named, Helene is one of four known Trojan moons, so called because it orbits at a Lagrange point. A Lagrange point is a gravitationally stable position near two massive bodies, in this case Saturn and larger moon Dione. In fact, irregularly shaped ( about 36 by 32 by 30 kilometers) Helene orbits at Dione’s leading Lagrange point while brotherly ice moon Polydeuces follows at Dione’s trailing Lagrange point. The sharp stereo anaglyph was constructed from two Cassini images captured during a close flyby in 2011. It shows part of the Saturn-facing hemisphere of Helene mottled with craters and gully-like features.
An elegant synchronicity (top) captured last month at Valais in Switzerland by Olivier Staiger. To wit:
The contrail would normally appear white, but the large volume of air toward the setting Sun preferentially knocks away blue light, giving the reflected trail a bright red hue. Far in the distance, well behind the plane, is a crescent Moon, also slightly reddened….the featured image was taken so soon after sunset that planes in the sky were still in sunlight, as were their contrails.
An appulse is an apparent conjunction of two celestial bodies caused by perspective only – in this case, the Moon and (to its apparent left) Venus, viewed in the early morning from the darkness of a crater on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu by Alex Dzierba. To wit:
The Moon was in a crescent phase with its lower left reflecting direct sunlight, while the rest of the Moon is seen because of of Earthshine, sunlight first reflected from the Earth. Some leaves and branches of a foreground kiawe tree are seen in silhouette… Appulses involving the Moon typically occur several times a year: for example the Moon is expected to pass within 0.20 degrees of distant Saturn on March 1.
An animation showing the 1.255 light second distance between us and the moon (the Sun is about 8 light minutes from us) created by planetary scientist Dr. James O’Donoghue using NASA imagery. and that’s not all. To wit:
This is the distance between the Earth and Moon with the correct sizes and scales. The real-time speed of light is also shown.