A Look Back Towards Home...

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An image of Saturn taken above the north pole, including the rings.

On the 12th of April 2017, the Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn took a minute to look back towards its home planet and snap a picture. At the time, the Earth, Moon, and all 7.125 billion humans were about 1.8 billion kilometers away. The fortuitous image catches Earth sitting between the A and F rings of Saturn, with the Keeler and Encke gaps visible as well. Cassini hasn't taken many pics of home, but this is probably my favourite so far.

On 22 April 2017, Cassini will take a gravity assist from Saturn's largest moon Titan and start the first of 22 orbits that slowly bring it closer to the cloud-tops of the gas giant. In September, this intrepid spacecraft will burn up in its atmosphere, but it's legacy will live on.

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A Look Back Towards Home...
NASA
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Jesse Rogerson, PhD

Jesse is a passionate scientist, educator, and science communicator. As an assistant professor at York University in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society, he teaches three classes: History of Astronomy, Introduction to Astronomy, and Exploring the Solar System. He frequently collaborates with the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and lends his expert voice to the Ingenium Channel. Jesse is an astrophysicist, and his research explores how super massive black holes evolve through time. Whether in the classroom, through social media, or on TV, he encourages conversations about how science and society intersect, and why science is relevant in our daily lives.