Space Probes to Show Stunning Photos of Saturn, Earth as One-Pixel “Dot”

At the time of the photos, the Cassini spacecraft will be 900 million miles away from Earth.


Here comes the sun, to Saturn? Photographs from space this weekend will show photos of Saturn you've never seen before and a side of Earth you'd never thought you'd see.

Two NASA spacecraft are in position to take stunning photos of Saturn and its rings, showing the planet eclipsing the sun Friday and Saturday. The photos will also show Earth as just one pixel in size, according to NASA.

The photos, taken from the Cassini and Messenger spacecrafts, will show Saturn and its "dusty" rings back-lit by the sun. Coincidentally, Earth should appear in the background of some of the images. At the time of the photos, the Cassini spacecraft will be nearly 900 million miles away from our planet.

"My sincere wish is that people the world over stop what they're doing at the time the Earth picture is taken, to revel in the sheer wonder of simply being alive on a pale blue dot of a planet, and to appreciate the ever-widening perspective of ourselves and our world that we have gained from our interplanetary explorations," Carolyn Porco, head of the Cassini mission's imaging team, said in a press release.

The Cassini spacecraft is scheduled to take its photos between 5:27 and 5:42 p.m. EDT, Friday, July 19, while the Messenger expects to shoot at 7:49 a.m., 8:38 a.m. and 9:41 a.m. EDT, both today and Saturday.

During the interplanetary photo session, NASA is encouraging people to go outside and look in the direction of Saturn and take photos of themselves waving and share them on Social Media using the hashtag #WaveAtSaturn.

"The Cassini team is looking forward to giving the world a chance to see what their home looks like from Saturn," Porco also said. "With this advance notice, we hope you'll join us in waving at Saturn from Earth, so we can commemorate this special opportunity."

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