That’s Us, That Is


Those two dots visible between Saturn’s rings? That’s the Earth and the Moon. To wit:

Just over three years ago, because the Sun was temporarily blocked by the body of Saturn, the robotic Cassini spacecraft was able to look toward the inner Solar System. There, it spotted our Earth and Moon — just pin-pricks of light lying about 1.4 billion kilometers distant. Toward the right of the featured image is Saturn’s A ring, with the broad Encke Gap on the far right and the narrower Keeler Gap toward the center. On the far left is Saturn’s continually changing F Ring. From this perspective, the light seen from Saturn’s rings was scattered mostly forward , and so appeared backlit. After more than a decade of exploration and discovery, the Cassini spacecraft ran low on fuel in 2017 and was directed to enter Saturn’s atmosphere, where it surely melted.

(Image: NASA, ESA, JPL-Caltech, SSI, Cassini Imaging Team; Processing & License: Kevin M. Gill)


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5 thoughts on “That’s Us, That Is

  1. Juniperberry

    That’s a door frame of a double glazed patio door with a speck of paint on the glass from sprucing the place up a bit – you’re not fooling anyone – Saturn my botty !

  2. realPolithicks

    Remarkable to think that all the poo that happens in our lives is contained in that tiny dot.

  3. Toe Up

    Nice headline.

    I was telling some slightly younger friends about a Rob Newman bit from TMWE on a zoom call a few weeks back and they had no idea who I was talking about.

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