The day the Earth smiled

on

by yaska77

Images of a distant Earth taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft on 19th July have been released, showing our planet and its moon as beacons shining in space from millions of miles away.

The colour images of Earth and the Moon where shot from Cassini’s location in the Saturn system nearly 900 million miles (1.5 billion kilometers) away.

PIA17171
Did everyone say “Cheese”!? Seen as a pale blue dot just right of centre, Earth shines brightly in the distance (click to enlarge) Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

In the snaps Earth and the moon appear as mere dots – Earth a pale blue and the moon a stark white, visible between Saturn’s rings. This was the first time Cassini’s highest-resolution camera has captured Earth and its moon as two distinct objects.

Both the Earth and the moon are seen here through the faint, diffuse E ring of Saturn (click to enlarge) - Credit:
Both the Earth and the moon are seen here through the faint, diffuse E ring of Saturn, magnified 5 times (click to enlarge) – Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

It also marked the first time us Earthlings had advance notice our planet’s portrait was being taken from interplanetary distances, with scientists wanting to pay homage to the “Pale Blue Dot” image captured by the Voyager 1 probe in 1990.

It is estimated over 20,000 people worldwide took part in the event, joining the fun on Twitter using the hashtag #smileatsaturn and posting their own images!

Can we do it again though please NASA?  I think I may have blinked… 😉

Full story: NASA Cassini Website

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Laure Joumier says:

    Cassini took a picture of our home sweet home from outside our solar system in 2006: not as good as this masterpiece though 😉

    Like

    1. yaska77 says:

      Thanks for commenting!

      You’re absolutely right, it certainly did take a pic from the Saturn system in 2006 🙂 http://sky-watching.co.uk/2011/09/09/in-the-shadow-of-saturn/

      Can’t wait to see the full size mosaic of this recent pic though! 😀

      Like

  2. vvignesh says:

    Reblogged this on vvignesh and commented:
    Nice

    Like

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