What Saturn Sees

In case you’ve been living on Mars, in a cave, with your eyes closed and your fingers in your ears (like Sideshow Bob’s brother Cecil), you’ve probably seen the following photo – or one very similar. It’s Saturn, from the dark side looking back towards the sun and inner solar system. NASA has released a series of photos taken from the Cassini probe, which is currently giving Saturn a thorough going over.The colors are a bit muted in the photo, as it was altered to be more easily viewable on the internet. The actual photo is 5MB, and 9000×35000 pixels – which is about 100 times larger than my blog space. To view the pic in all it’s gorgeousness go HERE.

But what’s even more astounding is all the little extra things in this photo. Not only does the Sun help to backlight Saturn’s brilliant system of rings, but being in the shadow also allowed Cassini to see a number of Saturn’s satellites, and even a sneak peak at ourselves and our closest neighbors.
Again, it’s hard to make out in a tiny picture, so click the above picture and you’ll be able to see it more clearly.

Wave to yourself. That picture was taken from roughly 900 million miles away. 900 million.

And here is one showing a handful of Saturn’s moons (Saturn has the most moons of any planet in the solar system).

The beauty of our solar system is astounding.

Remember though, space is infinite, and Earth is a tiny spec. Need a little more perspective? Ok. Here are a few more close up photos from Cassini of Earth from Saturn.

This one is a close-up of the section containing Earth from the above photos.

Yup. That’s you.

And just for fun, here is a picture of the Earth and our Moon taken from the Messenger spacecraft which is currently orbiting and studying Mercury. It looks like we’re shining like a star but it’s just the reflection of the sunlight. This was taken from about 60 million miles away, looking from near the center of the solar system outward.

All images courtesy of NASA/JPL


One thought on “What Saturn Sees

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.