NASA reveals 'wave at Saturn' collage
Friday, August 23, 2013, 4:30 PM -
On July 19th, NASA turned its Cassini spacecraft on Earth and took a picture of our planet.
The space agency then asked members of the public to send in photos of themselves waving at Saturn.
Now, NASA has released a collage of those images, placed over the western hemisphere of the Earth, which is where the Cassini was when it snapped the photo.
If you zoom in, you can see details of the photo submissions, which came from more than 40 countries.
The project is part of the "wave at Saturn" initiative.
The Cassini space craft is in the midst of an extended mission, which lasts until September 2017. It is studying Saturn in hopes of making exciting new discoveries.
"The main science goal for the mosaic we are making of the Saturn system is to look at the more diffuse rings that encircle Saturn and check for change over time," NASA says of the mission.
"A previous mosaic of the Saturn system Cassini made in 2006 revealed that the dusty E ring, which is fed by the water-ice plume of the moon Enceladus, had unexpectedly large variations in brightness and color around its orbit. We'll want to see how that looks seven Earth years and a Saturnian season later, giving us clues to the forces at work in the Saturn system. We'll do this analysis by collecting data from our visual and infrared mapping spectrometer, composite infrared mapping spectrometer and ultraviolet imaging spectrograph in addition to the imaging cameras.
But one of the best parts of the mosaic we're making on July 19 is that we'll be able to take a picture of Earth – and all of you -- from about 898 million miles (1.44 billion kilometers) away."