Remember how we told you to all stand outside your houses and wave at the sky between 5:27 and 5:42 EDT (2:27 to 2:42 PDT) on Friday afternoon, because NASA’s Cassini probe would be snapping a picture of Saturn in which Earth would be visible? Yeah, you probably didn’t have to actually do that, because all we can see are little white dots, which is how we look in the photograph above. It’s still a pretty cool picture, but we can’t help thinking maybe you should have waved harder. Y’know. For science.
Of course, the camera was pointing toward Earth from approximately 898,414,528 miles ( that’s 1,445,858,030 kilometers) away, so odds are that even if you did wave your very hardest, you’d still be the tiniest most insignificant speck on a tiny, insignificant speck. Try not to think about that too much. Instead, take a look at another image of Earth Cassini captured last week, this one featuring Saturn’s rings in the foreground.
A validated and calibrated image will be archived with the NASA Planetary Data System in 2014. Presumably that will look much prettier. Not that we’ll be any more important in a calibrated image, set against the backdrop of a vast, unfeeling universe full of cold, indifferent space. But at least the infinitesimally small speck that is the chunk of rock spinning through the empty, uncaring void will look good. And that’s something, right?
Speaking of looking good, you can check out images of people from all over the world waving at Cassini as it snap their photos, including these folks who took a break from SDCC last week to pay their respects to a far-off planet.
- Cassini has taken some pretty cool images in the past
- Like literally really cool. Just ask Saturn’s moons!
- We knew we weren’t going to show up in this image, anyway