Click on the image to see Earth pinpointed (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

If you aren’t already familiar with this image, your life is incomplete  without you even knowing it. This is the first and most spectacular of  the images of  Saturn taken by the Cassini spacecraft.

Unlike most of Cassini’s images, this one is completely different, for in this image, Saturn is eclipsing the sun. At the center of the image is the body of the gas giant, which in itself is partially lit by the reflection of light from its ring system. Of course, as you move away from center, the majestic rings shine with incredible brightness. Because of this, the image actually revealed the presence of a series of rings that were unknown to scientists at the time. 

And, if this image wasn’t already cool enough, it’s about to get cooler. Of course, you see the thick bright bands of Saturn’s iconic rings, and you see the slightly more separated, fainter ring system (i.e. the second farthest ring from the planet, or the G ring). In left hand side, near the 10 o’clock position, you’ll see a little dot. That is the Earth. “That’s here. That’s home. That’s us.”

See a larger image here. Or click here to see where Earth is.


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