I grew up in a pretty religious household and I became more and more obsessed with religion as I grew older. Unfortunately, I followed the path of religion that kind of made learning about scientific phenomena take a backseat to the more "important" matters of the Quran. The mundane, traditional minutiae of everyday rituals were placed higher than more burning questions.
Like, why the hell are we here? I thought I knew the answer - it was a test from God. Some huge experiment devised by a being that, for whatever reason, created a species to bow down in subservience to him and if they didn't tell him he was awesome all the time and live a life he deemed good with very specific rules, then they'd burn for all eternity, or at least a set period of time to absolve them of their sins.
I found the more I asked myself this question, the more I drifted further and further from religion. I started taking in the wonderment of the universe around me, or whatever humanity knew of it. I'd look up at the sky and truly feel alone. It was ominous and awesome and filled me with wonderment. Minutes later, I'd go back to worrying about some shallow BS because at the end of the day I'm a scumbag human being, but for those few moments, I felt the universe dwarfing me and all the crap I "suffer" through in my life.
And seeing this incredible photo of our planet through the rings of Saturn takes me back to that same mental and emotional space.
You see that dot, shining slightly brighter than all the others? Yeah. That's us. That's earth. The slightly larger dust-speck on a black sheet of construction paper.
The photo was tweeted by NASA Satellite Cassini.
NASA's website gave some background on the photo, which was taken a whopping 870 million miles from home.
A new image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows planet Earth as a point of light between the icy rings of Saturn.
The spacecraft captured the view on April 12, 2017, at 10:41 p.m. PDT (1:41 a.m. EDT on April 13). Cassini was 870 million miles (1.4 billion kilometers) away from Earth when the image was taken. Although far too small to be visible in the image, the part of Earth facing Cassini at the time was the southern Atlantic Ocean.
Earth's moon is also visible nearby in a cropped, zoomed-in version of the image.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter.
NASA's been documenting their journey around Saturn pretty heavily on Twitter.
With some very interesting developments.
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