US space agency, NASA on 19 July 2013 has released a rare photo of the Earth and moon taken from the vantage point of the outer solar system, with Saturn’s rings in the shot.
The images were taken at a distance of 1.4 billion Kilometres away by the NASA’S Cassini spacecraft. The image is actually taken in its colour form.
The chance to photobomb another planet drew 20000 participants, although the Earth appears as just a tiny speck in the final image.
It is important here to note that on 19 July 2013 Earth-imaging event marked the first time Earthlings and had advance notice that their portrait was being taken from interplanetary distances.
The image is the first to capture the Saturn system with Earth in natural color, as human eyes would see it. It was also the first to capture Earth and its moon with Cassini's highest-resolution camera.
From Cassini's point of view, Saturn's rings are too wide to capture in a single image, so the spacecraft has taken a series of exposures.
The image was taken when Sun had moved behind Saturn from the spacecraft’s point of view, which in turn has blocked out most of the light that would otherwise have damaged the camera’s delicate detectors.
About Cassini Spacecraft
Cassini Spacecraft is designed to explore the Saturnian system from orbit: the planet and its atmosphere, rings and magnetosphere, and its moons, particularly Titan and the icy satellites. Cassini also carried Europe's Huygens probe to its rendezvous with Titan.
After successfully completing the first in-depth, up-close study of Saturn and its realm from orbit, Cassini is on an extended mission to follow up on the many discoveries made during its primary 4-year mission. Among the most surprising discoveries were geysers erupting on Enceladus and the dynamic effects of it and other moons on Saturn's rings. Cassini's observations of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, have given scientists a glimpse of what our home planet might have been like before life evolved on Earth.