NASA began posting the raw images of Earth as seen by the Cassini spacecraft at Saturn yesterday (July 20), and we’re also beginning to see color composite images (look below). Cassini captured these cool photos of the Earth and moon on July 19, 2013, aka the day Earth smiled.
These are are only the third-ever images of Earth from the outer solar system. Voyager 1 got the first Earth image from distant space, in 1990. Cassini got the second, during an eclipse of the sun by Saturn in 2006. See the first two images of Earth from distant space, about midway down in this post.
The Earth-moon photo, shown above, is a color-composite made from raw images in red, green, and blue visible light. Some of the specks around the edges are background stars, and others are the result of high-energy particle noise.
We’ll post more of the Earth images from Saturn as we see them, so stay tuned!
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.