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.

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TOPICS: Nasa / Space
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  •  Earth and Jupiter, the two closest planets on either side of Mars, appear in this image taken from orbit over the Red Planet.

  • Before this week, this image of Saturn by the Cassini spacecraft was the most distant view of Earth taken from a planet in our solar system. As in the most recent pictures, Cassini had maneuvered between Saturn and the sun although it rings were still visible. The actual image shows the tiny dot between the rings.

    Here's an enlarged view of the left side of this image showing our planet.

    And here's a much larger view of this image. Click on it to make it even bigger.

    Credit: CICLOPS, JPL, ESA, NASA

  • On its way to Jupiter, the Juno spacecraft captured Earth and the moon in this image taken in August 2011. This image was taken about 6 million miles from Earth. Juno is on its way to Jupiter and should arrive in 2016.

    Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio said, "This is a remarkable sight people get to see all too rarely. This view of our planet shows how Earth looks from the outside, illustrating a special perspective of our role and place in the universe. We see a humbling yet beautiful view of ourselves."

    Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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Topic: Nasa / Space

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9 comments
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  • You Are Here

    No, that's not a stuck pixel, that's the planet Earth.
    ldo17
  • 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.
    jsargent
  • Great gallery.

    Well done! Particularly page 7. The Pale Blue Dot photo and Sagan's words together hit hard.
    GKSeifert
  • 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
    harvey_rabbit
  • 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.”
    harvey_rabbit
    • 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...
      ldo17
  • 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.
      eulampius
  • 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