Three days ago, thousands of people around the world stopped what they were doing and waved at the sky as the Cassini spacecraft took the world's photo - from Saturn.

Yes, it was essentially pointless - the Earth from that far away is little more than a collection of pixels. But it was a nice gesture - and now the results are starting to emerge.

While the images are still being processed, an Argentinian physicist produced this image from the original RAW files showing the Earth and Moon uploaded to Cassini's website.

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Cassini is a whopping 898 million miles away so don't expect to be able to make out anyone waving.

The Earth has only been pictured from such vast distances twice before. In 1990 the Voyager 1 spacecraft took the famous "pale blue dot" photo from 3.7 billion miles away.

pale blue dot voyager

Then in 2006 Cassini took an incredible image showing a distant Earth set against Saturn's rings.

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  • A crescent Enceladus appears with Saturn's rings in this Cassini spacecraft view of the moon.

  • With giant Saturn hanging in the blackness and sheltering Cassini from the sun's blinding glare, the spacecraft viewed the rings as never before, revealing previously unknown faint rings and even glimpsing its home world.

  • This is an artist's concept of the Saturnian plasma sheet based on data from Cassini magnetospheric imaging instrument. It shows Saturn's embedded 'ring current,' an invisible ring of energetic ions trapped in the planet's magnetic field. Saturn is at the center, with the red 'donut' representing the distribution of dense neutral gas outside Saturn's icy rings. Beyond this region, energetic ions populate the plasma sheet to the dayside magnetopause filling the faintly sketched magnetic flux tubes to higher latitudes and contributing to the ring current. The plasma sheet thins gradually toward the nightside. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/JHUAPL

  • A quartet of Saturn's moons, from tiny to huge, surround and are embedded within the planet's rings in this Cassini composition.

  • This stunning false-color view of Saturn's moon Hyperion reveals crisp details across the strange, tumbling moon's surface. Differences in color could represent differences in the composition of surface materials. The view was obtained during Cassini's very close flyby on Sept. 26, 2005. Hyperion has a notably reddish tint when viewed in natural color. The red color was toned down in this false-color view, and the other hues were enhanced, in order to make more subtle color variations across Hyperion's surface more apparent.

  • The colorful globe of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, passes in front of the planet and its rings in this true color snapshot from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

  • Vertical structures, among the tallest seen in Saturn's main rings, rise abruptly from the edge of Saturn's B ring to cast long shadows on the ring in this image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft two weeks before the planet's August 2009 equinox. Part of the Cassini Division, between the B and the A rings, appears at the top of the image, showing ringlets in the inner division.

  • Flying past Saturn's moon Dione, Cassini captured this view which includes two smaller moons, Epimetheus and Prometheus, near the planet's rings.

  • Data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft show that the sizes and patterns of dunes on Saturn's moon Titan vary as a function of altitude and latitude. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech, and NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

  • Saturn's small, potato-shaped moon Prometheus appears embedded within the planet's rings near the center of this Cassini spacecraft view while the larger moon Mimas orbits beyond the rings.

  • The line of Saturn's rings disrupts the Cassini spacecraft's view of the moons Tethys and Titan.

  • Although traveling at great speed, the Cassini spacecraft managed to capture this close view of Saturn's small moon Helene during a flyby on March 3, 2010. Saturn's atmosphere makes up the background of this composition.

  • The Cassini spacecraft looks at a brightly illuminated Enceladus and examines the surface of the leading hemisphere of this Saturnian moon.

  • Saturn's third-largest moon Dione can be seen through the haze of its largest moon, Titan, in this view of the two posing before the planet and its rings from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

  • Saturn's moon Mimas peeks out from behind the night side of the larger moon Dione in this Cassini image captured during the spacecraft's Dec. 12, 2011, flyby of Dione.

  • A quintet of Saturn's moons come together in the Cassini spacecraft's field of view for this portrait.

  • The best view of Saturn's rings in the ultraviolet indicates there is more ice toward the outer part of the rings, than in the inner part, hinting at the origins of the rings and their evolution.

  • NASA's Cassini spacecraft obtained this unprocessed image on Dec. 12, 2011.

  • Recent Cassini images of Saturn's moon Enceladus backlit by the sun show the fountain-like sources of the fine spray of material that towers over the south polar region. The image was taken looking more or less broadside at the 'tiger stripe' fractures observed in earlier Enceladus images. It shows discrete plumes of a variety of apparent sizes above the limb of the moon. The greatly enhanced and colorized image shows the enormous extent of the fainter, larger-scale component of the plume.

  • NASA's Cassini spacecraft obtained this unprocessed image on Dec. 12, 2011.

  • Saturn sits nested in its rings of ice as Cassini once again plunges toward the graceful giant. This natural color mosaic was acquired by the Cassini spacecraft as it soared 39 degrees above the unilluminated side of the rings.