Archives For Saturn

The View from Saturn

November 18, 2013 — Leave a comment

Saturn Wave 1

This image was taken by Cassini, the amazing spacecraft that has been orbiting Saturn and its Moons for a decade. This image shows a view toward the Sun from Saturn – the most distant planet normally visible with the naked eye. As well as showing Saturn’s rings in all their glory, several of Saturn’s moons are visible in this shot. Perhaps more amazingly though, the Earth and Moon are seen as a bright spot in the lower-right and Mars and Venus can be seen in the top-left. On July 19th 2013 the world was asked to wave at Saturn as this image was taken (and many people did).

Saturn Wave 2

If you want to feel humanity’s astronomical significance to its fullest just think of this photo, and then think of what it took to be able to obtain it. An amazing achievement for the Cassini team.

[Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI]

N00213959

NASA have released the raw version of Friday’s #WaveAtSaturn photograph of the Earth from Cassini. This image shows the Earth and the Moon as two bright stars; it was received on Earth yesterday, July 20th.

The camera that took this image was 898,410,414 miles (1,445,851,410 km) away, on the Cassini probe orbiting the Saturnian system. A better, calibrated photo will be released in 2014.

[Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute]

Smile for the camera… in space! In fact it’s cameras as two spacecraft will be taking images of the Earth tonight – there might still be time to get your hair done. The two spacecraft are Cassini and Messenger and although you’ll not even be a pixel in this image – the concept is quite fun.

This idea was started by Carolyn Porco and the Cassini team. A few years ago they created an amazing mosaic image of the Saturnian system, see below, which featured a tiny, pale blue dot: the Earth. It’s just up- and left-of-centre in the image below.

saturn-and-earth-from-cassini

The image is quite astonishing and so they decided to try to organise a new photo of the Earth by Cassini but to rally the world to pay attention and #waveatsaturn this time. This unique photograph (aren’t all photos unique?) will be taken tonight (July 19th) between 21:27 and 21:47 UTC (see other time zones here).

The only problem is that not all the world will be facing Saturn at this moment – you can only look at half of it at once after all. This is where Messenger steps in. Messenger is in orbit around Mercury and will also image the Earth today and tomorrow. Today’s time slots have passed by tomorrow Messenger will image the Earth at 11:49, 12:38, and 13:41 UTC.

So get ready to pose for the camera. These are the ultimate aerial shots.

[Read more at JPL News]