The Pale Blue Dot: Here's Looking At Us, Earthlings
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For a cosmic rendition of seeing the proverbial forest, rather than the trees, take a look at Earth from the perspective of the Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft. From nearly 900 million miles away, Earth is just a dot of light and the moon is even smaller.
The image, released on Monday, was Cassini’s first to capture the Earth and moon as two distinct objects.
“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,” Cassini scientist Linda Spilker, with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said in a press release accompanying the photo.
The picture was taken on Friday, the same day another NASA probe circling Mercury turned its camera toward Earth as well.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute