A humbling view of the inner solar system from Saturn via Cassini

I’m going to offer up just one really cool item: A view of the inner solar system, assembled by NASA from imagery by the Cassini probe currently orbiting Saturn.

NASA has released a natural-color image of Saturn from space, the first in which Saturn, its moons and rings, and Earth, Venus and Mars, all are visible.

The new panoramic mosaic of the majestic Saturn system taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which shows the view as it would be seen by human eyes, was unveiled at the Newseum in Washington on Tuesday.

Cassini’s imaging team processed 141 wide-angle images to create the panorama. The image sweeps 404,880 miles (651,591 kilometers) across Saturn and its inner ring system, including all of Saturn’s rings out to the E ring, which is Saturn’s second outermost ring. For perspective, the distance between Earth and our moon would fit comfortably inside the span of the E ring.

You are here:

earth-and-moon-from-saturn

Here’s a link to several full-sized versions of that photograph. I’ll include here the ones I think are the coolest. I’ve also enlarged portions to get a sense of how small we are from there.

saturn-cassini-2

Saturn in natural colors, with Mars, Venus, and the Earth/Moon system (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI)

venus-mars-saturn-cassini

Consider this an open thread.


Published professional writer and poet, Becca had a three decade career in technical writing and consulting before selling off most of her possessions in 2006 to go live at an ashram in India for 3 years. She loves literature (especially science fiction), technology and science, progressive politics, cool electronic gadgets, and perfecting Hatch green chile recipes. Fortunately for this last, Becca and her wife currently live in New Mexico. @BeccaMorn

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