This Is What Earth Looks Like From 900 Million Miles Away

Last Friday, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft took a photo of Earth from 900 million miles away as it was orbiting Saturn.

The Earth images are part of a larger mosaic that will show the full Saturn system once its stitched together by the Cassini team over the next few weeks.

In the meantime, the spacecraft has already beamed back to Earth tons of raw images from the event that are available to view and download on NASA’s website. The raw images do not have the colour, brightness, or sharpness of the finished product, but are being manipulated by amateur image processors while we wait for the official version to be assembled.

Val Klavans, who holds a degree in astronomy and previously interned at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight centre with the Cassini mission, created the colour composite of Saturn and Earth seen above from three raw images taken by the Cassini spacecraft. Earth is the white dot in the distance, with Saturn’s rings in the foreground.

Image of the Earth and moon from SaturnImage of the Earth and moon from Saturn, taken by Cassini.

The spacecraft Messenger also took an image of Earth over the weekend, but from the opposite end of the solar system — Mercury, the first planet from the sun. The image was taken from 61 million miles away on July 20. The images are below, released by NASA on  Monday afternoon:

Earth and moon from Saturn's Cassini spaceshipThe Earth and moon from Saturn’s Cassini spaceship, taken July 19
Image of the Earth from Saturn and MercuryImage of the Earth and moon from Saturn (Cassini spacecraft) and Mercury (Messenger spacecraft)/
The Earth and Moon from Messenger spacecraft, taken from MercuryThe Earth and Moon from the Messenger spacecraft, taken from Mercury

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