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NASA to take a photo of the Earth from Saturn

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will seize a rare opportunity to image the whole Saturn system and the Earth next month.

Image: NASA

NASA’S CASSINI SPACECRAFT, which is currently exploring Saturn, is to take a picture of Earth from a distance of hundreds of millions of miles next month.

The US space agency said our home planet will  look like a pale blue dot between the rings of Saturn in the image, and will form part of a multi-image portrait of the Saturn system.

“While Earth will be only about a pixel in size from Cassini’s vantage point 898 million [1.44 billion kilometers] away, the team is looking forward to giving the world a chance to see what their home looks like from Saturn,” said Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “We hope you’ll join us in waving at Saturn from Earth, so we can commemorate this special opportunity.”

The spacecraft is due to begin collecting images on 19 July over a 15 minute period, during a point when North America and part of the Atlantic Ocean will be in sunlight.

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Cassini has taken two other mosaic pictures of Earth, once in 2006 and another time in 2012, but this one will be the first to show our planet in it’s natural colour – just as human eyes would see it.  It also will be the first to capture Earth and its moon with Cassini’s highest-resolution camera.

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