Monday, July 22, 2013

Waving at Saturn

Below, to the left, is one of the images Cassini took of Earth from Saturn on July 19 (I talked about this last Friday).  On the right, is an image of the Earth-Moon system from the Messenger spacecraft (currently orbiting Mercury) taken on the same day.  From Saturn, the Earth is 898 million miles (1.44 billion kilometers) away and from Mercury it's 61 million miles (98 million kilometers) away.

These images are pretty amazing.  On that bright speck in each of the them lives, and has lived, every human being ever in existence.  The furthest any human has ever traveled is to that other smaller speck next to it.

At the very moment Cassini was imaging this Earth (5:30 pm EDT), my daughter and I were on that planet facing toward Saturn (148° azimuth, 31° altitude in the mid-Hudson Valley) and waving hello from my backyard.

Greetings from Earth!
[I rewrote this post because I made an error in the original confusing the Messenger and Cassini images - sorry about that!]

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