Our home world framed by the rings of Saturn

A new view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows planet Earth as a point of light between the icy rings of Saturn.

Cassini sees Earth between Saturn's rings
Image: Cassini Imaging Team.

The spacecraft captured the view on 13 April 2017 0541 UT. Cassini was 1.4 billion kilometres (870 million miles) away from Earth when the image was taken. Although far too small to be visible in the image, the part of Earth facing toward Cassini at the time was the southern Atlantic Ocean.

Earth’s moon is also visible to the left of our planet in this cropped, zoomed-in version of the image. Image: Cassini Imaging Team.

The rings visible here are the A ring (at top) with the Keeler and Encke gaps visible, and the F ring (at bottom). During this observation Cassini was looking toward the backlit rings, making a mosaic of multiple images, with the sun blocked by the disc of Saturn.

Saturn: Exploring the Ringed Planet

Find out more about Saturn and its moons in this 196-page special edition from Astronomy Now. Order from our online store.