Tuesday, July 23, 2013

This'll Put Things in Perspective For You...

That little dot you see is every person you have ever known, every feeling you have ever had, and every place you have ever been.

 
From the Yahoo article;
NASA has unveiled spectacular portraits of Earth and its moon from billions of miles away in images captured on Friday (July 19) and released today by the teams behind the agency's Cassini spacecraft at Saturn and its Messenger probe at Mercury.
In the photos from Saturn, Earth appears as a tiny pinprick of light amid the haunting rings and glowing sphere of Saturn, which Cassini has been orbiting since 2004. Though the picture doesn't show it, more than 20,000 people on Earth waved at Saturn at just the time the photo was taken, as NASA had coordinated a plan to involve as many Earthlings as possible in the portrait.
The cosmic picture took advantage of a rare total eclipse of the sun from Saturn, which allowed Cassini's sensitive cameras to image Earth without being damaged from looking directly toward the sun, which appears to lie very close to our planet from the perspective of Saturn. The photo shows Earth from a vantage point of 898 million miles (1.4 billion kilometers) away. [See the photos of Earth from Saturn and Mercury]
"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 project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said in a statement. "Cassini's picture reminds us how tiny our home planet is in the vastness of space, and also testifies to the ingenuity of the citizens of this tiny planet to send a robotic spacecraft so far away from home to study Saturn and take a look-back photo of Earth." 
In Messenger's portrait, Earth and its moon are both easily visible, though each is just a point of light. The photo was taken from orbit around Mercury, 61 million miles (98 million kilometers) away.

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