Wallpaper on the spotlight: the Earth seen from Afar
Sir Arthur has got a new favorite wallpaper, and it’s a space-themed image this time too. My desktop is messed-up as usual, and at least until I will make up my mind for a good cleanup – and for completing the ten thousand games installed on the HD a distant time ago – the best choice is a kind of images with ethereal and almost stylized shapes, which NASA always cares to provide me on a regular basis.
The scene depicted by the new planetary photography masterpiece is still the Saturn system and its rings, although the perspective is very different and differently meaningful: the image is the composite result of a photo series shot by the Cassini spaceship, with the Sun light highlighting Saturn’s gaseous roundness and the outer stars on the background as bright dots. On the lower right, properly pointed out by a white arrow, there is the Earth with its billions of human beings living and dying in a meaningless circle that will end in about 4.5 billion years.
The USA space agency explains that this is the third time the Earth has been photographed from outside in the Solar System, a portrait that maybe will not be as much poetic as the pale blue dot immortalized by Voyager 1 nonetheless it’s breathtaking: Cassini’s camera captured three images in the red, green and blue colors that have been combined afterward to create the natural-light photo 1.44 billion kilometers away, while on the planet several million bipedal beings were smiling for the occasion. The image is attached in its original sizes (1920×1080 pixels) suitable for 16:9 displays, while on the NASA site there are alternative versions with different ratios available from 800×600 pixels upward.