VENUS AS A BEACON
Photo Credit: NASA JPL
Much like the September of 2006 image of Earth behind the rings of Saturn, NASA, JPL and the Cassini Spacecraft have caught a glimpse of Venus through the vast yet thin ring system of Saturn as if to say hello and remind Cassini that the inner planets are still there though only looking like stars from that distance. Taken on November 10, 2012 Cassini was approx. 9.51AU from the Sun when it snapped this photo. In different numbers it looks more like this….880 million mi (1.42 billion km).
Cassini’s orientation here is below the ring system looking up through from 498,000 mi (802,000 km) behind Saturn. Its photos like this…..from Apollo 8 Earthrise, Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot, to the Earth/Saturn photo and now the Venus/Saturn collection that make us pause and take in the perspective for a moment, as sometimes reminders, especially in this form are worth more than any words can ever describe.
NASA info page with photo: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/whycassini/cassini20130304.html
NASA multimedia page for this photo: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/multimedia/pia14935.html
Cassini Home Page: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/