h Phoenix Qi: View Of Earth From Saturn

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

View Of Earth From Saturn

Yup, that's right, a view of Earth from Saturn!

Last autumn, the Cassini spacecraft visited the area of Saturn and took a long look back toward home...that would be toward us! These are actual photographs taken by Cassini and transmitted back to Earth, not artists renditions.

See that tiny little dot just above the ring (at about the 2:00 position)? That's us, folks....Earth. The inset is an enlargement of Earth. In the enlargement, at about the 10:00 position, you will see a bump of fog or a shadow; that's our moon! There is more info on this photograph on the 2006 September 27 page at Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Next up, another photo from a different perspective, behind Saturn looking back toward the center of our solar system. The first-ever photo of Saturn eclipsing the sun! This just blows me away...who could have imagined we would ever see a sight like this?! :-)

You may have to click on the picture to enlarge it to see Earth in this one, or check the original at APOD on 2006 October 16. Our planet is the the tiny dot on the left and just above the bright main rings of Saturn.

Thanks to CICLOPS, JPL, ESA and NASA for use of the photos. Visit the CICLOPS (Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS) site for more pictures and further information on Cassini which, at this writing, is still circling Saturn and sending back images!


Amit said...

Mind blowing images. I love anything to do with astronomy and those pictures are just superb...I did click on the picture to see earth, is it the do at around the 10 'o clock positon?

Phoenix said...

They are just incredible, aren't they?! In the second picture, yes...the faint dot at the 10:00 position just beyond the wide section of the brightest rings is Earth. :-)