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Say Cheese! Cassini Wants to Take Your Picture From Space This Afternoon

This may be the best chance you ever get to photobomb another planet. Y'know, in principle.


If you love photos from space but are always secretly bummed out that you’re not in them, today is your lucky day. NASA’s Cassini probe is snapping a picture of Saturn today, and hundreds of millions of miles distant in the background of the resulting image, you’ll be able to see the Earth. That’s right — today and today only, you have the opportunity to photobomb NASA. Make it count, people.

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The photo will be taken between 5:27 and 5:42 EDT (2:27 to 2:42 PDT) this afternoon, so prepare to be outside smiling and waving at the sky when that time rolls around. Or, y’know, taking a once in a lifetime opportunity to moon the Universe and have it on the record. Of course, considering how far away Cassini is, no one will be able to tell exactly what you’re doing — after all, the whole planet will end up occupying a grand total of one pixel in the final image. But you’ll know.

The Day The Earth Smiled, organized by planetary scientist Carolyn Porco, is one of a couple projects encouraging people to get their photographs taken with Saturn. While it sounds like a lovely plan, considering how hot it is in most of the country today, I hope Saturn will understand if some of us hang out inside. If you’re bold, though, waving at another planet isn’t a chance you get every day — the last opportunity was a photo taken by the probe in 2006, which you can see above.

If it is too hot for you, though, don’t feel too bad. You can always tell folks that you are smiling and waving along with the best of them, but they’ll have to really, really squint to see you.

(via Bad Astronomy, image via NASA)

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