1. On July 19, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured a rare image of Saturn’s rings and our planet Earth and its moon.
2. The Cassini spacecraft is currently in the Saturn system - nearly 900 million miles (1.5 billion kilometers) away. This was the first time that its cameras captured the Earth and its moon as two separate objects.
3. Earth and its moon appear as blue and white dots from such a distance.
4. On the same day, MESSENGER, the first NASA probe to orbit the planet Mercury, took a black-and-white picture of our planet from 61 million miles (98 million kilometers) away.
5. The Earth and its moon, as seen from Saturn and Mercury.
“We can’t see individual continents or people in this portrait of Earth, but this pale blue dot is a succinct summary of who we were on July 19,” said Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
“Cassini’s picture reminds us how tiny our home planet is in the vastness of space, and also testifies to the ingenuity of the citizens of this tiny planet to send a robotic spacecraft so far away from home to study Saturn and take a look-back photo of Earth.”