Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Wave to Saturn and Mercury tonight

Posted: July 19, 2013

Wave to Saturn and Mercury tonight

On Friday, July 19 between 5:27 and 5:42 PM, the Earth will have its photo taken by NASA’s Cassini orbiter and the MESSENGER orbiter.

The Cassini photos will be assembled into a mosaic showing a backlit Saturn and its sunlit rings, along with Earth’s blue dot. The Messenger photos will capture Earth and its moon.

"This is a great opportunity to engage the public," AOSS doctoral student and member of the MESSENGER mission team Gina DiBraccio says.

"It's easy to forget that we are actually part of a much larger system and viewing Earth from Mercury and Saturn's vantage points really puts things into perspective.  As these pictures are taken, both the MESSENGER and Cassini spacecraft will be collecting data to answer important science questions regarding the fact that Mercury does not have a moon and variations in Saturn's rings.  It really is a perfect example of the extensive research each mission is capable of," she adds.

AOSS congratulates the AOSS faculty, staff and students who are members of the Cassini and MESSENGER mission teams and helped make this unique opportunity possible.

The MESSENGER team includes Thomas Zurbuchen, Jim Slavin, Dan Gershman, Jason Gilbert, Jim Raines and Gina DiBraccio.

The Cassini mission includes Sushil Atreya, Tamas Gombosi and Andrew Nagy.

Learn more at NBC.

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