NASA released this new image from its Cassini spacecraft on April 20, 2017, as Cassini maneuvers into position for its final sweep past the large moon Titan and then its Grand Finale passes between the body of Saturn and inner part of Saturn’s rings. Cassini captured the new image, which shows the Earth and moon as a points of light between Saturn’s rings, on April 12, when the craft was 870 million miles (1.4 billion km) away from Earth. NASA said:
Although far too small to be visible in the image, the part of Earth facing Cassini at the time was the southern Atlantic Ocean.
You can see the moon better in the cropped, zoomed-in version of the image below:
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.
Bottom line: Earth and moon are seen between the rings of Saturn in a new image from Cassini, obtained on April 12, 2017.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.