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


NASA’s mosaic of people waving at Saturn

Posted: November 25, 2013

NASA’s mosaic of people waving at Saturn

NASA released a mosaic of 1,600 photographs submitted by members of the public as part of NASA's "Wave at Saturn" campaign from July 19, 2013.

During the campaign, the Earth had its photo taken by NASA’s Cassini orbiter and the MESSENGER orbiter. The Cassini photos were assembled into a mosaic showing a backlit Saturn and its sunlit rings, along with Earth’s blue dot.

"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,” AOSS doctoral student and member of the MESSENGER mission team Gina DiBraccio said in July. “It really is a perfect example of the extensive research each mission is capable of."

Cassini was able to take a photo of Earth, which would normally require looking almost directly at the sun and risk damaging the cameras' sensitive detectors, by maneuvering into a location to take a picture of the Saturn system backlit by the sun.

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.

View the photos on

Photo courtesy of NASA.

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