Science & Technology

Cassini Will Photograph Earth in Natural Color

This simulated view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft exhibits the anticipated positions of Saturn and Earth on July 19, 2013, across the time Cassini will take Earth’s image. Cassini will probably be about 898 million miles (1.44 billion kilometers) away from Earth on the time. That distance is sort of 10 occasions the space from the solar to Earth. Picture credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

On the nineteenth of July, NASA’s Cassini probe will take a mosaic image of Earth whereas Saturn is eclipsing the solar from Cassini’s perspective. This would be the first picture to seize the Saturn system with Earth in pure coloration.

Pasadena, California – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, now exploring Saturn, will take an image of our house planet from a distance of a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of miles on July 19. NASA is inviting the general public to assist acknowledge the historic interplanetary portrait as it’s being taken.

Earth will seem as a small, pale blue dot between the rings of Saturn in the picture, which will probably be a part of a mosaic, or multi-image portrait, of the Saturn system Cassini is composing.

“Whereas Earth will probably be solely a few pixel in dimension from Cassini’s vantage level 898 million [1.44 billion kilometers] away, the workforce is trying ahead to giving the world an opportunity to see what their house appears like from Saturn,” mentioned Linda Spilker, Cassini undertaking scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “We hope you’ll be part of us in waving at Saturn from Earth, so we will commemorate this particular alternative.”

Cassini will begin acquiring the Earth a part of the mosaic at 2:27 p.m. PDT (5:27 p.m. EDT or 21:27 UTC) and finish about quarter-hour later, all whereas Saturn is eclipsing the solar from Cassini’s perspective. The spacecraft’s distinctive vantage level in Saturn’s shadow will present a particular scientific alternative to have a look at the planet’s rings. On the time of the picture, North America and a part of the Atlantic Ocean will probably be in daylight.

In contrast to two earlier Cassini eclipse mosaics of the Saturn system in 2006, which captured Earth, and one other in 2012, the July 19 picture would be the first to seize the Saturn system with Earth in pure coloration, as human eyes would see it. It additionally would be the first to seize Earth and its moon with Cassini’s highest-resolution digicam. The probe’s place will permit it to show its cameras in the path of the solar, the place Earth will probably be, with out damaging the spacecraft’s delicate detectors.

This marvelous panoramic view was created by combining a complete of 165 pictures taken by the Cassini wide-angle digicam over practically three hours on Sept. 15, 2006. The total mosaic consists of three rows of 9 wide-angle digicam footprints; solely a portion of the complete mosaic is proven right here. Color in the view was created by digitally compositing ultraviolet, infrared and clear filter pictures and was then adjusted to resemble pure coloration. The mosaic pictures had been acquired because the spacecraft drifted in the darkness of Saturn’s shadow for about 12 hours, permitting a large number of distinctive observations of the microscopic particles that compose Saturn’s faint rings. Ring buildings containing these tiny particles brighten considerably at excessive section angles: i.e., viewing angles the place the solar is sort of instantly behind the objects being imaged. Picture credit score: NASA/JPL/Area Science Institute

“Ever since we caught sight of the Earth among the many rings of Saturn in September 2006 in a mosaic that has turn out to be one in every of Cassini’s most beloved pictures, I’ve wished to do it once more, solely higher,” mentioned Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging workforce lead on the Area Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado. “This time, I wished to show your complete occasion into a chance for everybody across the globe to savor the individuality of our planet and the preciousness of the life on it.”

Porco and her imaging workforce associates examined Cassini’s deliberate flight path for the rest of its Saturn mission in search of a time when Earth wouldn’t be obstructed by Saturn or its rings. Working with different Cassini workforce members, they discovered the July 19 alternative would allow the spacecraft to spend time in Saturn’s shadow to duplicate the views from earlier in the mission to gather each seen and infrared imagery of the planet and its ring system.

“Wanting again in direction of the solar via the rings highlights the tiniest of ring particles, whose width is corresponding to the thickness of hair and that are tough to see from ground-based telescopes,” mentioned Matt Hedman, a Cassini science workforce member primarily based at Cornell College in Ithaca, New York, and a member of the rings working group. “We’re notably in seeing the buildings inside Saturn’s dusty E ring, which is sculpted by the exercise of the geysers on the moon Enceladus, Saturn’s magnetic subject and even photo voltaic radiation stress.”

This newest picture will proceed a NASA legacy of space-based pictures of our fragile house, together with the 1968 “Earthrise” picture taken by the Apollo 8 moon mission from about 240,000 miles (380,000 kilometers) away and the 1990 “Pale Blue Dot” picture taken by Voyager 1 from about 4 billion miles (6 billion kilometers) away.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative undertaking of NASA, the European Area Company and the Italian Area Company. JPL manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, and designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras. The imaging workforce consists of scientists from the USA, the UK, France and Germany. The imaging operations middle is predicated on the Area Science Institute in Boulder, Coloradao.

To study extra in regards to the public outreach actions related to the taking of the picture, go to:

For extra details about Cassini, go to and

Photographs: NASA/JPL-Caltech; NASA/JPL/Area Science Institute

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