Cassini Space Probe to Photograph Earth From Saturn
The Cassini space probe was launched in 1997 with its mission to enter the orbit of Saturn and study the planet’s rings. Cassini arrived at its destination in 2004 and has been studying the planet since. This Friday, July 19, at 5:27 p.m. EDT, the space probe will take a picture of Earth from its vantage point 898 million miles away.
Cassini has taken two other photos of Earth in the past, 2006 and 2012, but this photo will be the first to capture Earth in all its natural color as seen by the human eye from that distance. At the time the photo is taken North America and part of the Atlantic Ocean will be in sunlight.
The team taking the photo hope Earthlings will wave at Saturn as to commemorate the special event. It will be the first time a photo of Earth from Saturn can be taken without the obstruction of Saturn’s rings and the first time a photo of Earth from Cassini will capture the moon, too.
The main part of the mission will be to study Saturn’s rings as the Cassini space probe looks back at the sun giving a unique vantage point for scientists to look at the rings. The imaging center in charge of the historic photos is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.