Something remarkable is going to happen next Friday, July 19, 2013. On that day, the Earth is going to have its picture taken, but not just from an orbiting satellite, from Saturn. The Cassini spacecraft, still orbiting the ringed planet, will take images of Saturn and all of its rings during an eclipse of the Sun. This has been done twice before, but this time, the view will include another tiny, far-away blue speck – the Earth, in natural colour.
Founded by Carolyn Porco from the Cassini imaging team, The Day the Earth Smiled is the name given to all of the associated events and projects taking place on that day, around the world. These include events organized by Astronomers Without Borders and the Wave at Saturn project by NASA / JPL.
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Paul Scott Anderson is a freelance space writer with a life-long passion for space exploration and astronomy. He currently writes for AmericaSpace, Universe Today and Examiner.com. His own blog The Meridiani Journal is a chronicle of planetary exploration.