TECH

Nasa To Photograph Earth From Saturn: Cassini Probe Readies Lens From 898 Million Miles (PICTURES)

19/06/2013 09:57 BST

Don your Sunday best and give a big wave because you're about to have your photo taken - from 898 million miles away.

Nasa's Cassini spacecraft, currently orbiting Saturn, will snap our home planet between 19:27 and 19:42 on July 19th.

Earth will appear as a tiny blue dot between the rings of Saturn.

earth picture saturn cassini

Cassini's last effort with Earth as a tiny blue dot between Saturn's rings

Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said: "While Earth will be only about a pixel in size from Cassini's vantage point 898 million [1.44 billion kilometers] away, the team is looking forward to giving the world a chance to see what their home looks like from Saturn.

"We hope you'll join us in waving at Saturn from Earth, so we can commemorate this special opportunity."

The event is not unprecedented. In 2006 Cassini captured a stunning image of Saturn with the Earth appearing as a pale blue dot.

The new image however will be the first of Earth taken with its highest resolution camera which will allow it to be seen in its natural colour.

Previously the postion of the probe meant it could not use this camera without damaging it as light from the sun would have been too bright.

Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team lead at the Space Science Institute in Colorada, said: "Ever since we caught sight of the Earth among the rings of Saturn in September 2006 in a mosaic that has become one of Cassini's most beloved images, I have wanted to do it all over again, only better.

"This time, I wanted to turn the entire event into an opportunity for everyone around the globe to savor the uniqueness of our planet and the preciousness of the life on it."

Other Nasa craft have also taken pictures of the Earth from space. The most famous is the 'Earthrise' image taken by Apollo 8 in 1968. Another was the 1990 'Pale Blue Dot' taken by Voyager 1.