This is the first image that shows Saturn, Venus, Mars, and Earth all grouped together. NASA was able to capture this planetary family portrait soon after the Cassini spacecraft slipped behind Saturn’s shadow. The spaceship turned to snap an image of the faraway yellow planet, its seven moons, the rings, and any planets hanging out in the background. Although the sun’s rays are usually too damaging for Cassini’s camera to take a look back, NASA grabbed a rare opportunity to shoot a panoramic mosaic of the Saturn system.
The final image you see here is actually composed of 141 wide-angle photos painstakingly stitched together. To create the photo, Cassini captured 323 images in just over four hours using its wide-angle and narrow-angle cameras. The actual span of space this picture captures is 404,880 miles (651,591 kilometers) across.
If NASA engineers are able to “zoom-enhance” the heck out of this photo, you would be able to see thousands of people on Earth waving at Cassini as part of NASA’s “Wave at Saturn” campaign. The photo also marks the third time our own planet has been photographed from the outer solar system. Previously, Cassini provided us with stunning photos of a super hurricane on Saturn.
Via This is Colossal
Images © NASA JPL