Images of Earth taken by distant NASA spacecraft
Captured from opposite ends of the solar system Friday, July 19th, 2013, two NASA spacecraft turned their cameras on planet Earth, capturing our bright beacon in the black expanse of space.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured the color images of Earth and the moon from its perch in the Saturn system nearly 900 million miles (1.5 billion kilometers) away. MESSENGER, the first probe to orbit Mercury, took a black-and-white image from a distance of 61 million miles (98 million kilometers) as part of a campaign to search for natural satellites of the planet.
In the Cassini images Earth and the moon appear as mere dots — Earth a pale blue and the moon a stark white, visible between Saturn’s rings. It was the first time Cassini’s highest-resolution camera captured Earth and its moon as two distinct objects.
It also marked the first time people on Earth had advance notice their planet’s portrait was being taken from interplanetary distances. NASA invited the public to celebrate by finding Saturn in their part of the sky, waving at the ringed planet and sharing pictures over the Internet. More than 20,000 people around the world participated. […]
Full Article Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Images of Earth taken by distant NASA spacecraft

Captured from opposite ends of the solar system Friday, July 19th, 2013, two NASA spacecraft turned their cameras on planet Earth, capturing our bright beacon in the black expanse of space.

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured the color images of Earth and the moon from its perch in the Saturn system nearly 900 million miles (1.5 billion kilometers) away. MESSENGER, the first probe to orbit Mercury, took a black-and-white image from a distance of 61 million miles (98 million kilometers) as part of a campaign to search for natural satellites of the planet.

In the Cassini images Earth and the moon appear as mere dots — Earth a pale blue and the moon a stark white, visible between Saturn’s rings. It was the first time Cassini’s highest-resolution camera captured Earth and its moon as two distinct objects.

It also marked the first time people on Earth had advance notice their planet’s portrait was being taken from interplanetary distances. NASA invited the public to celebrate by finding Saturn in their part of the sky, waving at the ringed planet and sharing pictures over the Internet. More than 20,000 people around the world participated. […]

Full Article Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Saturn’s auroras.

Saturn’s auroras.

Nature’s Canvas

In a splendid portrait created by light and gravity, lonely Mimas is seen against the cool, blue-streaked backdrop of Saturn’s northern hemisphere. Delicate shadows cast by the rings arc gracefully across the planet, fading into darkness on Saturn’s night side.The part of the atmosphere seen here appears darker and more bluish than the warm brown and gold hues seen in Cassini images of the southern hemisphere, due to preferential scattering of blue wavelengths by the cloud-free upper atmosphere.The bright blue swath near Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across) is created by sunlight passing through the Cassini division (4,800 kilometers, or 2,980 miles wide). (The rightmost part of this distinctive feature is slightly overexposed and therefore bright white in this image.) Shadows of several thin ringlets within the division can be seen here as well. The dark band that stretches across the center of the image is the shadow of Saturn’s B ring, the densest of the main rings. Part of the actual Cassini division appears at bottom, along with the A ring and the narrow, outer F ring. The A ring is transparent enough that, from this viewing angle, the atmosphere and threadlike shadows cast by the inner C ring are visible through it.Images taken with red, green and blue filters were combined to create this color view. The images were obtained with the narrow angle camera on November 7, 2004, from a distance of 3.7 million kilometers (2.3 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 22 kilometers (14 miles) per pixel.

Credit:NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Nature’s Canvas

In a splendid portrait created by light and gravity, lonely Mimas is seen against the cool, blue-streaked backdrop of Saturn’s northern hemisphere. Delicate shadows cast by the rings arc gracefully across the planet, fading into darkness on Saturn’s night side.

The part of the atmosphere seen here appears darker and more bluish than the warm brown and gold hues seen in Cassini images of the southern hemisphere, due to preferential scattering of blue wavelengths by the cloud-free upper atmosphere.

The bright blue swath near Mimas (396 kilometers, 246 miles across) is created by sunlight passing through the Cassini division (4,800 kilometers, or 2,980 miles wide). (The rightmost part of this distinctive feature is slightly overexposed and therefore bright white in this image.) Shadows of several thin ringlets within the division can be seen here as well. The dark band that stretches across the center of the image is the shadow of Saturn’s B ring, the densest of the main rings. Part of the actual Cassini division appears at bottom, along with the A ring and the narrow, outer F ring. The A ring is transparent enough that, from this viewing angle, the atmosphere and threadlike shadows cast by the inner C ring are visible through it.

Images taken with red, green and blue filters were combined to create this color view. The images were obtained with the narrow angle camera on November 7, 2004, from a distance of 3.7 million kilometers (2.3 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 22 kilometers (14 miles) per pixel.

Credit:NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Angling Saturn by the Lunar and Planetary Institute
 The Cassini spacecraft takes an angled view toward Saturn, showing the southern reaches of the planet with the rings on a dramatic diagonal. North on Saturn is up and rotated 16 degrees to the left. This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 14 degrees below the ring plane. The rings cast wide shadows on the planet’s southern hemisphere. The moon Enceladus (313 miles, or 504 kilometers across) appears as a small, bright speck in the lower left of the image. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on June 15, 2012 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.8 million miles (2.9 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 72 degrees. Image scale is 11 miles (17 kilometers) per pixel.

Angling Saturn by the Lunar and Planetary Institute


The Cassini spacecraft takes an angled view toward Saturn, showing the southern reaches of the planet with the rings on a dramatic diagonal. North on Saturn is up and rotated 16 degrees to the left. This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 14 degrees below the ring plane. The rings cast wide shadows on the planet’s southern hemisphere. The moon Enceladus (313 miles, or 504 kilometers across) appears as a small, bright speck in the lower left of the image.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on June 15, 2012 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.8 million miles (2.9 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 72 degrees. Image scale is 11 miles (17 kilometers) per pixel.

In the Shadows of Saturn’s Rings
Titan and Saturn, seen when the Cassini spacecraft passed by Titan at a distance of 700,000 km on 6 May 2012.

In the Shadows of Saturn’s Rings

Titan and Saturn, seen when the Cassini spacecraft passed by Titan at a distance of 700,000 km on 6 May 2012.

Epimetheus Beyond Rings

Epimetheus Beyond Rings