SEE THAT TINY blue dot with the arrow pointing to it? Well, that’s the earth as seen from the planet Saturn.
In the picture, taken on Friday 19 July by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, you can also see Saturn’s rings and the moon.
Earth, which is 1.44 billion kilometres (898 million miles) away in this image, appears as a blue dot, while the moon can be seen as a fainter protrusion off its right side. The other bright dots nearby are stars.
In this image by Cassini you can see the moon and the earth. It’s only the third time ever the earth was pictured from the outer solar system.
“We can’t see individual continents or people in this portrait of Earth, but this pale blue dot is a succinct summary of who we were on July 19,” Linda Spilker, Cassini spacecraft lead scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
These images show views of the earth and the moon from NASA’s Cassini (left) and MESSENGER spacecraft (right). In the Cassini image, the wide-angle camera has captured Saturn’s rings, while in the MESSENGER image, the earth and the moon appear as a pair of bright stars.
MESSENGER was at a distance of (98 million kilometres (61 million miles) from earth when it took this image.
“That images of our planet have been acquired on a single day from two distant solar system outposts reminds us of the nation’s (USA) stunning technical accomplishments in planetary exploration,” said MESSENGER Principal Investigator Sean Solomon of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, NY.
(All images: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)