Saturn's Cassini snaps images of Earth -- plus other great views of our planet

Saturn's Cassini snaps images of Earth -- plus other great views of our planet

Summary: NASA's Cassini spacecraft which has been orbiting and photographing the ringed planet since 2004 set it sights on Earth from 900 million miles away.

TOPICS: Nasa / Space

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  • John Glenn looked back at Florida during his flight in 1962.

  • The first picture from the "vicinity of the moon" was taken by Lunar Orbiter I.

  • The most distant look at Earth is this image taken by Voyager 1 at a distance of nearly 4 billion miles. This image has been called the "Pale Blue Dot" after the title of astronomer Carl Sagan's 1994 book, "Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space."

     In the image, Earth is located in a light ray that was the result of taking the picture so close to the sun.

    "Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every 'superstar,' every 'supreme leader,' every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there -- on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam." -Carl Sagan, "Pale Blue Dot."

Topic: Nasa / Space

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  • You Are Here

    No, that's not a stuck pixel, that's the planet Earth.
  • Today

    "Today, Earth is constantly monitored by thousands of satellites for both good and evil purposes." What are the eeeeeevil purposes and who is doing it? If we are talking about spying on military movements then what's the eeeeeevil in that? Without the spy in the sky we would probably be in a nuclear wasteland by now. Though I guess those gamer guys are probably a bit disappointed by that.
  • Great gallery.

    Well done! Particularly page 7. The Pale Blue Dot photo and Sagan's words together hit hard.
  • Just one book

    "We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations."

    - A. Einstein
  • Monkeys!

    Fred Hoyle (agnostic, British astrophysicist) on discovering the astonishing nuclear resonance coincidence that allows carbon to be formed in stars:

    “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”
    • Re: there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature

      So who created this "superintellect"? That must have taken a truly great intelligence indeed...
  • Image 8, how can it be?

    In image 8, the camera is near Mars, looking outward at a fully illuminated Jupiter.
    This means the sun is at my back, no?
    So, how could earth be in the image, also outward from Mars? Wouldn't earth be behind me, closer to the sun?
    CIO Mark
    • that's right

      You would also not be able to see Jupiter that big in a telescope together with the Earth. So, it's either an error, and it's rather J. with the two of its satellites? or the Earth's and Jupiter's images put together.
  • The Cassini earth shots

    I'm guessing those are not naked eye (unmagnified) views, given how far apart the Earth and Moon appear. Given that none of Saturn's moons are visible with the naked eye from Earth, it would be surprising if our moon were visible with the naked eye from Saturn.
    John L. Ries