Every little kid born to royalty, every man sitting in a cafe writing the next great American novel, every river full of bear food, every cat, every single thing that makes up humanity… is crammed in those few pixels you see above. That tiny dot, that’s Earth. That’s the picture Cassini took on July 19th, some 900 million miles away, while orbiting Saturn. And it’s sobering. It’s a sobering picture because it gives you a tiny bit of perspective about our great blue planet. How tiny it looks next to the unimaginable interplanetary distances. And yet everything that ever was, anything that ever happened, happened on that dot.
It isn’t particularly easy to picture the Earth from Saturn because it’s often too close to the sun to point sensitive optical instruments at it. But Cassini got lucky here, and took the pic just as the sun was hiding away behind Saturn. And the shot “also marked the first time people on Earth had advance notice their planet’s portrait was being taken from interplanetary distances. NASA invited the public to celebrate by finding Saturn in their part of the sky, waving at the ringed planet and sharing pictures over the Internet. More than 20,000 people around the world participated.”
So yeah, that’s our science break. The picture below? That’s another one, of the Earth next to its moon. Nifty, eh?
VIA [ NASA ]