saturn_cas.jpg

EO Newsroom: New Images – A View of Earth from Saturn — This cool image is going around the net as “A Stunning View of Earth from Saturn” as an obvious joke,. No joke, though is the picture. Wow.

This beautiful image of Saturn and its rings looks more like an artist’s creation than a real image, but in fact, the image is a composite (layered image) made from 165 images taken by the wide-angle camera on the Cassini spacecraft over nearly three hours on September 15, 2006. Scientists created the color in the image by digitally compositing ultraviolet, infrared, and clear-filter images and then adjusting the final image to resemble natural color. (A clear filter is one that allows in all the wavelengths of light the sensor is capable of detecting.) The bottom image is a closeup view of the upper left quadrant of the rings, through which Earth is visible in the far, far distance.



  1. ECA says:

    Umm,
    abit old pic, but its Still cool..

  2. MarkS says:

    If I remember correctly this was second or third in the bad astronomy blog’s 2006 Images of the year.

    It has been my desktop background for the last three months. I love this image and it draws plenty of attention from passers by when I am out and about with my laptop.

  3. Mr. Fusion says:

    This sounds trite, but it makes us seem so insignificant. Geeze that Big Bang must have been big.

  4. tallwookie says:

    nice pic

  5. Angel H. Wong says:

    Too bad they have to sex up the images, it would have been nice to see them without all that retouching.

  6. BubbaRay says:

    Home page for Cassini – Huygens mission is here, enjoy:

    http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/index.cfm

  7. sdf says:

    Yeah, colourizing and enhancing these images is a peeve of mine. “Why let the visible spectrum get in the way of public spending” I guess.

  8. Mountaineer says:

    Just imagine, you’re in your ToyotaGM spacecar, heading home from your weekly bargain-shopping run to the Titan SuperCosco, and your car suffers a flat gravitron right there in Saturn’s belt, your precious children belted in the back seat, with Earth still just a dim speck ahead of you…

    Don’t let this happen to you! Call 1-888-888-888-GETONSTAR now! One push of the red button and we’ll have a tow rocket out to you in a jiffy! Only $19,995.95 Ameros a month…

  9. James Hill says:

    #8 – Then USD may be worth as much as a POS, but it still isn’t as bad as the Mexican Peso.

  10. Miguel says:

    Kinda reminds you of Carl Sagan’s words:

    From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest.

    But for us, it’s different. Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us.

    On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.

    The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors, so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

  11. joshua says:

    I don’t care if the images are 800 years old or from this morning……they are spectacular!!

    Miguel…..you hit it perfectly.

  12. steve says:

    If you have something pertinent to say I’m all ears, otherwise quit adding trashy comments on the internet, thanks, steve

  13. ECA says:

    http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/
    this link will pick up the New pick every day.

    http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0704/carina_hst_big.jpg

    THIS is the Biggest nebula in the area…

  14. BubbaRay says:

    #14, ECA Actually, Eta Carina pales in comparison with the big boy:

    The Tarantula is the largest stellar nursery we know in the local Universe. In fact if this enormous complex of stars, gas and dust were at the distance of the Orion Nebula it would be visible during the day and cover a quarter of the sky.

    http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMUXM2AR2E_extreme_0.html

  15. ECA says:

    Lets explain it this way…
    If we could see all these colors in our sky, EVEN at night… Our Night sky Wouldnt be very dark at all.
    The pictures are colored, for each of the gases present. to bad it isnt real.

  16. BubbaRay says:

    #16, ECA, as the article said: “it would be visible during the day and cover a quarter of the sky.” How much color do you want? Even Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn have color in a small scope. The only celestial objects (besides rare supernovae) visible during the day are the Sun and Moon (and Venus if you’ve great eyesight and know exactly where to look.)

    Eta Carinae and the Great Nebula in Orion appear a ghostly grey in a 1M scope. The nebulosity in the Pleides is somewhat blue. Eta Carinae (30 Doradus) at the distance of the Orion Nebula (1,500 ly.) would be colorful (shades of red) in a modest .5 meter scope and most likely to the naked eye under dark sky conditions.

    It would be a glorious sight. We’ll just have to settle for the Spitzer and Hubble photos.

  17. grog says:

    #7 — science probes aren’t created to create photo albums

    the visual spectrum makes for spiffy postcards, but the UV and IR ranges of light penetrate gas clouds better, and carry more information about chemical composition, etc.

    so actually a visual light camera would be a waste of money.

    or are you one of those guys who thinks that nasa should be scrapped?


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