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.

It will be a day to revel in the extraordinary achievements in the exploration of our solar system that have made such an interplanetary photo session possible. And it will be a day for all of us to smile and celebrate life on the Pale Blue Dot.

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.

Carolyn Porco
Founder, The Day The Earth Smiled
Twitter: @carolynporco
Facebook: carolynporco


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.



We have created this website as a place where visitors can exchange information about the events and projects being conducted around the world on, or in association with, The Day The Earth Smiled (TDTES). We will post new developments here as we learn of them.


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 CONTEST   If you would like to communicate with our fellow galactic citizens, love a challenge, and are a musical composer, consider entering our contest held in association with Cassini's imaging of Earth on July 19. The winning entry will be included in a digitally encoded message that will be broadcast into the galaxy from the most powerful radio telescope on Earth on some future anniversary of The Day The Earth Smiled.

Go to Message to the Milky Way to find out more.


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 wish to learn more about events already planned for July 19, 2013, visit the Astronomers Without Borders website.

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.)




Already several projects are in the works and we hope there are more to come. We have provided information and links to those we are currently aware of. To the extent that we are informed of others and we are able, we will post information about them, with appropriate links, on this site.


A private company, Diamond Sky Productions, LLC, is holding a competition that require submission of materials (music) created by members of the public following strict guidelines. The winning entry will be included in a digitally encoded message that will be broadcast into the galaxy from the most powerful radio telescope on Earth on some future 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
Message to the Milky Way

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 an original contribution from a member of the public, chosen in a worldwide competition seeking 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.



Partners that have already signed up to collaborate, promote, and otherwise supporte The Day The Earth Smiled are:

A leading international investment group and one of the world's most recognized and respected brands. Its core business areas are travel, entertainment and lifestyle.

A popular science magazine that gives readers substantive, in-depth coverage of important science topics and enlists contributions from the world's leading scientists.

The organization of astronomy aficionados whose mission is to foster understanding and goodwill across national and cultural boundaries by creating relationships through the universal appeal of astronomy.

PopTech is a non-profit organization bringing together innovators from many fields to share insights and work together to create lasting change. Its annual conferences and events are among the highest rated in the United States.

Space Science Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to innovative space and earth science research and education, with employees and project partners around the world.

An online gallery of space memorabilia, original space art by today's finest astronomical artists, and signed photos by Apollo, Skylab and Shuttle astronauts, Also, the founders and organizers of SpaceFest.



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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