Earth from Saturn (plus ISON-Update)

Die NASA hat dieses Bild (via Interweb3000) der Erde – der kleine blaue Punkt in der Mitte, rechts – mit der Saturn-Sonde Cassini aus 1,5 Milliarden Kilometer Entfernung fotografiert. Ihr habt's wahrscheinlich alle schon gesehen, aber ich will mir diesen fantastischen Shot trotzdem noch ins Blog kleben, weil's hier reingehört.

In this rare image taken on July 19, 2013, the wide-angle camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured Saturn's rings and our planet Earth and its moon in the same frame. It is only one footprint in a mosaic of 33 footprints covering the entire Saturn ring system (including Saturn itself). At each footprint, images were taken in different spectral filters for a total of 323 images: some were taken for scientific purposes and some to produce a natural color mosaic. This is the only wide-angle footprint that has the Earth-moon system in it.

The dark side of Saturn, its bright limb, the main rings, the F ring, and the G and E rings are clearly seen; the limb of Saturn and the F ring are overexposed. The "breaks" in the brightness of Saturn's limb are due to the shadows of the rings on the globe of Saturn, preventing sunlight from shining through the atmosphere in those regions. The E and G rings have been brightened for better visibility.

Earth, which is 898 million miles (1.44 billion kilometers) away in this image, appears as a blue dot at center right; the moon can be seen as a fainter protrusion off its right side. An arrow indicates their location in the annotated version. (The two are clearly seen as separate objects in the accompanying narrow angle frame: PIA14949.) The other bright dots nearby are stars.

Und wo wir grade beim Thema Space sind: Ich hatte den Kometen ISON hier glaube ich schonmal erwähnt, der wird Ende November nahe der Sonne vorbeirauschen und möglicherweise eine ziemliche Show am Nachthimmel abziehen. Hale-Bopp in den 90ern war circa halb so hell wie der Mond, der hier soll angeblich genauso hell wie der volle Mond werden – wenn alles hinhaut. Und die neusten Berechnungen deuten darauf hin, dass wir das dieses Jahr genau so erleben werden:

Images taken on June 13 by NASA's infrared Spitzer Space Telescope reveal that dust and carbon dioxide gas are streaming off Comet ISON, forming a tail about 186,400 miles (300,000 kilometers) long, researchers said.

"We estimate ISON is emitting about 2.2 million pounds (1 million kilograms) of what is most likely carbon dioxide gas and about 120 million pounds (54.4 million kg) of dust every day," Carey Lisse, leader of NASA's Comet ISON Observation Campaign and a senior research scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., said in a statement.

NASA Photos Show Outburst from Potential 'Comet of the Century'