CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Earth Between the Rings of Saturn
[For trouble viewing the images/movies on this page, go here]
Earth Between the Rings of Saturn
PIA 21444

Avg Rating: 9.67/10

Full Size 1020x1020:
JPEG 124 KB
PNG 317 KB
TIFF 386 KB

 

Earth Between the Rings of Saturn
PIA 21444

Avg Rating: 9.78/10

Zoomed Full Size 1020x1020:
JPEG 189 KB
PNG 106 KB
TIFF 1.1 MB
  This view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows planet Earth as a point of light between the icy rings of Saturn.

The spacecraft captured the view on April 12, 2017 at 10:41 p.m. PDT (1:41 a.m. EDT). Cassini was 870 million miles (1.4 billion kilometers) away from Earth when the image was taken. Although far too small to be visible in the image, the part of Earth facing toward Cassini at the time was the southern Atlantic Ocean.

Earth's moon is also visible to the left of our planet in a cropped, zoomed-in version of the image.

The rings visible here are the A ring (at top) with the Keeler and Encke gaps visible, and the F ring (at bottom). During this observation Cassini was looking toward the backlit rings, making a mosaic of multiple images, with the sun blocked by the disk of Saturn.

Seen from Saturn, Earth and the other inner solar system planets are all close to the sun, and are easily captured in such images, although these opportunities have been somewhat rare during the mission. The F ring appears especially bright in this viewing geometry.

The Cassini Solstice Mission is a joint United States and European endeavor. 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 was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini Solstice Mission visit http://ciclops.org, http://www.nasa.gov/cassini and http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI
Released: April 20, 2017 (PIA 21444)
Image/Caption Information



Want to add a comment?   Login (for Alliance Members) ... or ... Join the CICLOPS Alliance!