Cassini’s Snaps a Family Pic

Jul 15, 2013
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“Blue Marble” taken upon Apollo 17 in 1972

It’s going to be a very small picture, but we’re all going to be in it. All trillions of us on Earth (

On Friday, July 19th, the Cassini probe will be turning its camera toward Earth and snapping a keepsake.

Carolyn Porco, team leader of NASA’s Cassini project is hoping to take advantage of Saturn eclipsing the sun to get “an image of the highest resolution we are capable of taking.”

The hope is that the resulting image will be a lot better than the one taken in 2006, when Cassini was 930 miles from Earth—is that Earth amidst the rings of Saturn or a speck of dust on our computer screen?

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On July 19, 2013, while Saturn is eclipsing the sun, “the spacecraft’s unique vantage point in Saturn’s shadow will provide a special scientific opportunity to look at the planet’s rings.” For the first time, the Saturn system with Earth will be captured in “natural color, as human eyes would see it.”

So at 2:27-2:42 p.m. PDT on Friday, JLA Cassini project scientists Linda Spilker hopes “You’ll join us in waving at Saturn from Earth.”

Smile for the camera…

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