Something great, something big, something very special that's never happened before is about to happen!
On July 19, 2013, the Cassini spacecraft, currently in orbit around Saturn, will be turned to image that planet and its entire ring system during an eclipse of the sun, as it has done twice before during its previous 9 years in orbit.
But this time will be very different. This time, the images collected will capture, in natural color, a glimpse of our own planet alongside Saturn and its rings on a day that will be the first time the Earth's inhabitants know in advance their picture is being taken from a billion miles away.
My fondest wish is that you, the people of the world, do exactly that.
I hope, at the appropriate time, regardless where or on which side of the planet you are, that you stop what you're doing, go outside, gather together with friends and family, contemplate the utter isolation of our world in the never-ending blackness of space, relish its lush, life-sustaining beauty, appreciate the rarity it is among the Sun's planets, and marvel at your own existence and that of all life on planet Earth.
And then, by all means, rejoice! Hoot and holler, twist and shout, raise a glass, make a toast, dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free, or celebrate in silence. Whatever it takes. But be sure to smile, knowing that others around the world are smiling too, in the sheer joy of simply being alive on a pale blue dot.
The Day The Earth Smiled is the name given to July 19, 2013 and all the activities the world over associated with the taking of Earth's image from Saturn orbit on that day.
This website is meant to serve as a portal and a source of information for events and projects occurring either on, or in association with, The Day The Earth Smiled. If you wish to find out how to be involved, or let others know how to get involved in your event or project, read on.
CASSINI IMAGE TIMES Cassini's wide-angle camera will acquire a full end-to-end mosaic of images of Saturn's ring system over the course of 4 hours on July 19. The Earth, which will be near the rings, will be captured in a series of both wide-angle and narrow-angle camera images taken between 21:27 to 21:42 UTC on that day. Those times translated into the US time zones are:
EDT: 5:27-5:42 pm
CDT: 4:27-4:42 pm
MDT: 3:27-3:42 pm
PDT: 2:27-2:42 pm
To find the time of the event in your country or time zone, visit this website.
Know that the light-travel time from the Earth to Saturn has already been accounted for in the times above. That is, the photons that leave the Earth between those times will arrive at Saturn at the times that the shutters on the cameras open.
For further details, such as the part of the Earth facing Cassini and the part that will be in sunlight, please go to the CICLOPS website ... the official website of the Cassini Imaging Team.
ENTER OUR CONTESTS If you would like to communicate with our fellow galactic citizens, love a challenge, and are a photography buff or a musical composer, consider entering one of our two contests held in association with Cassini's imaging of Earth on July 19. The winning entries will be included in a digitally encoded message that will be broadcast into the galaxy from the most powerful radio telescope on Earth on the anniversary of The Day The Earth Smiled.
Go to Message to the Milky Way to find out more. NOTE: Your image MUST be taken on July 19, the day of Cassini's imaging of Earth.
OBSERVE AND SHARE SATURN In association with The Day The Earth Smiled, Astronomers Without Borders is calling on all amateur astronomers and astronomy buffs to get out their telescopes and observe and share Saturn and this special event with friends and family. They are also announcing a special Project for anyone with a camera and an eye for composition. Go to PROJECTS to learn more.
The premier organization of astronomy aficionados and amateur astronomers, Astronomers Without Borders, has graciously offered to coordinate events around the globe... something they are used to doing!
If you are organizing an event of your own, and you wish to brand it as an official TDTES event and coordinate it with others, you can do two things. First, go to the registration page on the AWB site and register it. This does not require joining the organization; just a simple signing up and the submission of some information about your event. In exchange you will receive a Participation Certificate.
Second, download our logo to post either on your website or on relevant printed material to indicate that yours is a registered TDTES event. TDTES logos can also be obtained at AWB. (At the moment, we have one volunteer working on producing a hardcopy poster to hang at events. That will be made available under RESOURCES as soon as it is ready.)
A private company, Diamond Sky Productions, LLC, is holding two competitions that require submission of materials (images in one case, music in the other) created by members of the public following strict guidelines. The winning entries will be included in a digitally encoded message that will be broadcast into the galaxy from the most powerful radio telescope on Earth on the anniversary of The Day The Earth Smiled.
For more information on how to participate in this project, visit DiamondSkyProductions.com or click on the icon below.
The Day the Earth Smiled
We aim a spotlight on humanity's 'coming of age' as interplanetary explorers and citizens of the galaxy by beaming, at some future date, a digitally encoded message outward to space from the largest radio telescope in the world, announcing our presence to the Milky Way. In it, we will describe us and our home planet. Included in this transmission will be two original contributions from members of the public, chosen in worldwide competitions: an image, captured on July 19, 2013, that best represents what is unqiue about planet Earth, and a musical composition that exalts the listener and captures the essence of The Day The Earth Smiled.
Another privately conducted project we have just learned of, and led by Astronomers Without Borders, is all about recording this historic event with an ordinary camera.
Take Your Portrait With Saturn
Astronomers Without Borders guides you in capturing this historic July 19 event. With an ordinary camera, take and submit images of Saturn and your surroundings, whatever they may be, for inclusion in a special product.
PARTNERSPartners that have already signed up to collaborate, promote, and otherwise supporte The Day The Earth Smiled are:
IN THE NEWS
July 23, 2013: Cassini Probe Takes Image of Earth from Saturn Orbit, BBC News. http://bbc.in/1aG3ADW
July 19, 2013: Smile! Cassini Sets Up Photo of Earth, BBC News. http://bbc.in/16NJjrK http://bbc.in/16NJjrK
July 18, 2013: Cassini Poised to Take Photo of 'Pale Blue Dot', William Harwood, CBS News. http://cbsn.ws/1298n0p
July 13, 2013: The Day The Earth Smiled, Leonard David, Coalition for Space Exporation. http://bit.ly/15aR4c0
July 12 2013: Hey Planet Earth! Get Ready to Smile, Nancy Atkinson, Universe Today. http://bit.ly/18bKGnf
July 8, 2013: Pale Blue Dot, Richard Branson, Virgin Group. http://bit.ly/1biK5T2
July 3, 2013: Say Cheese, World. Saturn is Watching, Helen Walters, TED Blog. http://bit.ly/1b83Uwe
June 27, 2013: 7 Billion People and Trillions of Creatures to be Photographed together on July 19, 2013, Robert Krulwich, NPR. http://n.pr/14ZKHdA
June 25, 2013: Historic interplanetary photo opp: Wave at Saturn from Earth on July 19, Max Corneau, Blue Ribbon News. http://bit.ly/1cjx8pD
June 19, 2013: NASA's Cassini Cameras to Provide Breathtaking Image of Earth from Saturn, Carolyn Porco, PBS/Newshour. http://to.pbs.org/13ZipND
June 19, 2013: Viewpoint:A Day to Celebrate the Pale Blue Dot, Carolyn Porco, BBC News. http://bbc.in/19i35Pw
June 19, 2013: NASA's Cassini Probe to Acquire Distant Earth Portrait, Jonathan Amos, BBC News. http://bbc.in/12IQvJ1
June 19, 2013: People of Earth, say cheese!NASA to take everyone's picture from space, Jonathan Jones, Guardian. http://bit.ly/11Odptl
June 19, 2013: Cassini spacecraft to take our global photo next month, Elizabeth Barber, Christian Science Monitor. http://bit.ly/10xYo3K
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