The global aerospace market is alive and kicking, as is the latest aerospace attention-grabber: the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft. As a matter of fact, the novel craft equipped with an array of modern electronics systems just snapped an impressive photo—that of Earth from a distance of nearly 900 million miles (or 898,414,528 miles away, to be exact).
The image, captured on 19 July 2013 using RED (red filter) and CL2 (clear filter) filters, was received here on Earth the following day, 20 July. This military and aerospace (mil/aero) geek was and continues to be moved by the shot, which depicts the Earth as a little shiny dot—a speck in the photograph and in the universe.
NASA, via its social media channels, launched a global campaign in which those of us on this little blue planet were encouraged to wave at Saturn while the picture was being taken. Did you look up and say “cheese”?
The picture is part of a larger mosaic of the Saturn system backlit by the sun. This specific solar angle will enable scientists to closely examine highlights of the very small particulates that compose the rings of Saturn, as well as study the geometry and patterns they create.
Cassini-Huygens, considered to be “one of the most ambitious missions ever launched into space,” comprises the Cassini orbiter and the Huygens probe. It houses a wealth of powerful instruments and cameras with which to take accurate measurements and detailed images in various atmospheric conditions and light spectra; in fact, it is equipped for 27 diverse science investigations.
This geek hopes everyone had a chance to wave “hello” to the extra-planetary explorer. If you did, claim your certificate of participation at: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/waveatsaturn/certificate/.