Smile! NASA Will Be Photographing Earth From Saturn



NASA will be photographing Earth from Saturn on July 19. The portrait will be snapped by the Cassini spacecraft, which will take a photo of Earth as seen between the planet's rings from a distance of 898 million miles.

The photograph will be the first that will capture Earth in its natural color, as human eyes would see it from Saturn. It will also be the first to capture the Earth and the moon together. The images are being taken as part of a giant mosaic of Saturn.

Cassini, a plutonium-powered robot that's has been orbiting Saturn for nearly a decade, has imaged Earth before, in 2006 and in 2012. This time, however, will be the first time with a visible light camera.

When the photo is taken, Saturn will be eclipsing the sun from Cassini's perspective, and North America and part of the Atlantic Ocean will be bathed in sunlight.

Though Earth will only show up as a small dot, NASA is inviting people to wave at the camera beginning at 2:27 p.m. PST. So smile, and say, cheese!

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