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NASA's Cassini spacecraft sends panoramic views of Saturn

Taking advantage of a shadow cast by Saturn, this is the third time that the Earth has been photographed from outer space.
By Ananth Baliga Follow @antbaliga Contact the Author   |   Nov. 12, 2013 at 3:12 PM
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(UPI) -- NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured spectacular and panoramic images of Saturn, its moons, rings and planets in the background including the Earth.

As a part of The Day The Earth Smiled Project, Cassini placed itself in the shadow of Saturn and on July 19 captured 323 wide-angle images providing a view of the planet as it would appear with human eyes. Cassini, aided by the Saturn obstructing the sun's harmful rays, used its powerful cameras and combined 141 pictures together to produce color images.

This is the third time the Earth has been photographed from the outer solar system and the first time Earth's inhabitants were made aware that their photo would be taken from space, which inspired the name The Day The Earth Smiled.

The image, which spans 404,880 miles, provides details of Saturn's rings, seven moons and a section of the solar system in the background. Cassini has explored the Saturn system for more than nine years, and NASA plans to continue the mission through 2017.

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