The beautiful Saturn photo that makes the Earth look like a tiny dot

November 12, 2013

(NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI)

See that tiny speck in the distance? It gives you an idea of the scale of the universe. The above photo is a zoomed-in look at a striking image of Saturn that NASA compiled and released Tuesday. The Cassini spacecraft took over 300 photos in July and used 141 of the wide-angle shots to assemble the below image. (Click on it for a larger look.)


(NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI)

NASA explains more:

This mosaic was made from pictures taken over a span of more than four hours while the planets, moons and stars were all moving relative to Cassini. Thus, due to spacecraft motion, these objects in the locations shown here were not in these specific places over the entire duration of the imaging campaign. Note also that Venus appears far from Earth, as does Mars, because they were on the opposite side of the sun from Earth.

The rings are incredible to look at up close:


(NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI)

As part of the project, NASA also compiled photos of people waving at the spacecraft into this mosaic:


Related: Cassini probe is taking our picture nearly 900 million miles away

Matt McFarland is the editor of Innovations. He's always looking for the next big thing. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.
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Matt McFarland | November 12, 2013