On July 19 did you wave at Saturn as Cassini was aiming its camera back our way? If you did (and if you sent a photo of you waving to JPL, like I did) you’re in this awesome new image, a compilation of 1400 submitted photos from assembled into a mosaic of Earth, a planet-wide wave to a spacecraft 900 million miles from home.
“Thanks to all of you, near and far, old and young, who joined the Cassini mission in marking the first time inhabitants of Earth had advance notice that our picture was being taken from interplanetary distances,” said Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “While Earth is too small in the images Cassini obtained to distinguish any individual human beings, the mission has put together this collage so that we can celebrate all your waving hands, uplifted paws, smiling faces and artwork.”
The images came from 40 countries and 30 U.S. states via Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Google+ and email. (Read more here.)
I’m in the image too — or at least my left hand is — just a couple thousand miles west off the northern coast of Chile. (Since I was waving from Rhode Island, USA, that shows the images weren’t assembled in any particular geographic order.)
Download the full-res 25 mb version of the image here.
The Cassini imaging team at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, CO is also working on an image of Earth, as seen from Cassini on July 19. That one, though, will show our planet in context from the spacecraft’s position in Saturn’s shadow on that particular day. Expected to be released in September, it will be gorgeous, glorious, and definitely well worth the wait! Keep an eye on the imaging team’s CICLOPS page for updates.