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PHOTO: Incredible New Image Of Saturn As It Would Be Seen By Human Eyes

AP Photo / AP

The imaging team of NASA's Cassini spacecraft worked with 141 wide-angle images that together sweep 404,880 miles across Saturn to create the natural-color panorama "as it would be seen by human eyes," according to a statement from NASA.


The images were taken from a distance of about 746,000 miles, and each pixel represents 45 miles of Saturn's terrain, according to NASA.

The picture combines images taken with Cassini's red, green and blue spectral filters; NASA describes the result as a "natural-color view." But there are enhancements to make things easier to see. Earth, Mars and Venus are 8.5 times brighter than Saturn, as are the Saturnian moons Enceladus, Epimetheus and Pandora. Tethys, another moon, is four times brighter.

The image marks only the third time Earth has been photographed from the outer solar system. The first time was in 1990, when Voyager 1 took the now-iconic "pale blue dot" image of Earth from beyond Neptune's orbit. The second time was in 2006, when Cassini took a picture of Earth as a blue point of light between Saturn's rings.

Fo more information about what can be seen in the new Cassini image (where each of its moons are visible, for example) check out NASA's detailed breakdown here.

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Zoë Schlanger is Frontpage Editor at TPM. Zoë was a TPM intern in 2011, and prior to returning here she was editor in chief of NYU Local, the alternative independent student news site at NYU. Zoë has interned at places like the Nation, InsideClimate News, The Rachel Maddow Show and Gothamist. She can be reached at