UPDATE: This is July 19, not June 19. I must need new contact lenses. Get ready to smile next month!
Was everybody in the US smiling at around 2:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time today? Because that’s when Cassini was taking a series of photographs of Saturn and the ring system during a total eclipse of the sun…with a little blue dot called Earth visible in the distance. As Cassini Imagining Team Leader Carolyn Porco wrote in her email blast, this event would be “the first time Earthlings know in advance their picture will be taken from a billion miles away.”
At the time the photos were taken, those of us in Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania and most of South America were either on the dark side of the planet, or out of sight around the curve. So it was up to you all in the US to smile and look good. Hope you brushed your teeth!
Here’s NASA’s image of the portion of Earth that will be illuminated in the photos:
And here is the where we’ll be in relation to Saturn:
Pretty amazing to think that from a BILLION miles away, we just took the biggest selfie in human history. We have the capacity to be a pretty awesome species.
(These images and more info on the event can be found on NASA’s CICLOPS page.)