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

As a passionate science communicator, Jesse Rogerson loves promoting science literacy to the public. He frequently represents the Canada Aviation and Space Museum on television and radio, social media, and at conferences. A trained and practicing astrophysicist, Jesse holds a PhD in observational astrophysics from York University, and publishes his research in peer-reviewed journals. Jesse enjoys riding his motorcycle, board games, and ultimate frisbee.