10 Things for the Week of July 14 - 20
12 July 2013
Special Wave at Saturn Edition: Friday (July 19) will be the first time in history Earthlings have had advance notice their picture was being taken from deep space.
You and everyone you know. NASA is asking everyone to stop what they doing and wave toward Saturn on Friday, July 19 between 5:27 and 5:42 p.m. EDT (2:27 to 2:42 p.m. PDT or 21:27 to 21:42 UTC). Take a picture of your Saturn salute and share it on your favorite social media site with the hashtag #WaveAtSaturn.
Cassini will be able to see the whole Saturn system backlit by the sun on July 19. It's a great science opportunity and it makes a beautiful picture - one that happens to have Earth in the background as well.
3. WHAT WILL YOU SEE?
Cassini's image of Earth will be just 1.5 pixels wide, with the illuminated part of Earth less than a pixel, so the resulting mosaic will not actually show people or the continents. But if you are on the sunlit side of Earth at the time - North America and part of the Atlantic Ocean -- you are in the picture.
For those in the western U.S., step outside (or stay inside) and wave low on your eastern horizon. Wave southeast in the central and eastern U.S. as Cassini's cameras take a series of pictures over about 15 minutes
Because it's a rare opportunity to image Earth from other outer solar system. It's only been done twice before - and those times everyone didn't have advance notice to wave.
Unlike two previous Cassini eclipse mosaics of the Saturn system in 2006, which captured Earth, and another in 2012, the July 19 image will be the first to capture the Saturn system with Earth in natural color, as human eyes would see it. It also will be the first to capture Earth and its moon with Cassini's highest-resolution camera.
7. FIRST PHOTO
The first photo was dark, so the team pushed the colors to bring out details (in a sense creating a false color image).
8. NO ONE TO WAVE
The 2006 showed Venus instead of Earth.
9. ALMOST LIKE BEING THERE
The July 19 photo will show Earth and the moon in the way you would see them if you were orbiting Saturn.
Waving is fun, but the real opportunity is for science. The spacecraft's unique vantage point in Saturn's shadow will provide a special scientific opportunity to look at the planet's rings.
Read More by Autumn Burdick