Debate Magazine

Creation: Pale Blue Dot

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

Earth as seen from Saturn

On July 19, 2013, the cameras on NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured this rare look at Earth and its moon from Saturn’s orbit.  This is the second time that Cassini has imaged Earth from within Saturn’s shadow, and only the third time ever that our planet has been imaged from the outer solar system.

Earth is the blue point of light on the left. I inserted the pale blue arrow and the word “Earth”.

The moon is fainter, white, and on the right. Both are seen here through the faint, diffuse E ring of Saturn.

It took Cassini seven years to reach Saturn – the 6th planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in our solar system, after Jupiter. A gas planet, Saturn’s average radius is about 9 times that of Earth.

Here’s a stunning image of Saturn and its rings (click to enlarge!):

Saturn and its rings

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit and

Source: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


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