CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

The Day The Earth Smiled

On July 19th 2013, the Cassini spacecraft was turned to image the Earth from Saturn orbit in a carefully planned mosaic of the Saturn system. At that very moment, people from all over the world looked up and smiled in celebration of our home planet and the life on it. An impressive 141 images from the cosmic photo shoot have been stitched together, and the final product features 4 planets, including Earth, more than 800 stars, and Saturn's expansive ring system spanning a distance of over 400,000 miles across. It represents the culmination of a hugely successful social media campaign designed to bring people together from all over the world in appreciation of our unique planet and our 'coming of age' as planetary explorers. Without further delay, the image we have all been waiting for has finally arrived! (Press release can be found here.)

Nov 12, 2013: The Day the Earth Smiled - On July 19, 2013, in an event celebrated the world over, NASA's Cassini spacecraft slipped into Saturn's shadow and turned to image the planet, seven of its moons, its inner rings -- and, in the background, our home planet, Earth.
Alliance Member Comments
jsc248 (Nov 14, 2013 at 7:25 AM):
I smiled, it's a pity I am on the dark side at this time. Great fun to think of a world all with astronomy on their minds at one given point of time!
Lee (Nov 13, 2013 at 6:27 PM):
WOW! WOW! WOW!

Great work: Thank you so much!

Congratulations on a job very well done.
Craig (Nov 13, 2013 at 12:21 PM):
Great images!

Would Titanians(?) say: "What a big, hot, toxic planet that distant Earth is, so close to the Sun. It's 2/3 covered with molten rock - obviously uninhabitable!"

Size perspective: I always see things like "Tethys is 1/3 the size of Earth's moon". Or "Mars is 1/2 the size of the Earth." That's like saying a tennis ball is 1/3 the size of a soccer ball. Thus we get distorted ideas of how big worlds are. Volume - the true measure of "size" - is proportional to the cube of the diameter.

So in round numbers, Earth (12756Km diam.) is 6-1/2 times the size of Mars (6787Km). Titan (5156Km) is 1/2 the size of Mars. Tethys (1060Km) is 3% of the size of Earth's moon (3476km) or 1% of the size of Titan.

...Of course, if we want to know how many acres it has for golf courses, surface area is proportional to the square of the size.

featinwe (Nov 13, 2013 at 7:47 AM):
Absolutely stunning photo! a pity you didn't mention about three moons visible here ;) great job anyway!
unger61 (Nov 12, 2013 at 8:31 PM):
What a great image...puts us a little in perspective
kimfox (Nov 12, 2013 at 3:46 PM):
absolutely brilliant

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