Monday, July 22, 2013



Hashtag we've been having tons of fun with: #WaveAtSaturn! Hashtag I cannot wait for: #EuropaWavedBack!  Well, a gal can dream.

Craftlass Waving At Saturn

Did you wave at planet Saturn?? Okay fine, so it was 900 million miles away, but it's the cosmic thought that counts! There's @Craftlass waving due east to Saturn, as captured by @Woodtoast along the New York skyline. Definitely the best capture of the SpaceTweep frenzy!

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory held events onsite and online, encouraging everyone to wave, and people obliged, from all over the world!

Saturn Photography Mosaic

If you were asleep on Friday July 19, 2013... well, Spacecraft Cassini took your picture anyway! Even if you blinked, even if you didn't look up and smile, our entire planet was photographed by the distant probe orbiting planet Saturn, as part of a series that will create a mosaic (mapped above).

Our particular portrait has been released via the Raw Images Gallery of JPL's Cassini archives, though it may be some time before all the pictures are calibrated and pulled together into panoramas.

Still, the initial glimpse of our beautiful world as a mere DOT beneath Saturn's icy-rocky rings are powerful, beautiful, and humbling.

Saturn Rings with Earth in Background
"Man must rise above Earth to the atmosphere and beyond
for only thus will he understand the world in which he lives."

~ Socrates, 500 BC

The Americas happened to be facing Saturn at a time when a full solar eclipse made it possible for Cassini to take a central-solar-system-pointed portraits with no sun glare, so Earth was captured in the background. Europe and Africa were in line-of-sight of Saturn, though by the time the picture was taken, they were partially dark.

However, even with the most powerful cameras, we won't be seeing too many details at 1.5 billion kilometres away! In the highest resolution photograph, our planet will only be 1.9 pixels across.

Wave At Saturn Certificate

We had a good time, but it's not really about Earth. This series of photos is actually designed to provide data to scientists about the fainter rings encircling Saturn. With forward-scattered light, particles as fine as smoke or dust may be detectable -- and, of course, the last time Cassini took a back-lit image in 2006, 3 new moons were discovered!

So, stay tuned for more news and photographs.  And if you participated, be sure to go to the Wave At Saturn website on the Cassini Solstice Mission website and print out your certificate!