Pale Blue Dot
by Richard Branson

This essay was first published on Richard Branson's Blog July 8, 2013.

One of my favourite images is the Pale Blue Dot, a photo taken in 1990 that captured the Earth as a tiny speck of light from beyond the orbit of Neptune.

Then in 2006 Cassini took this awe-inspiring image of Earth from within the shadow of Saturn. Can you spot us?

Now it is time for an updated version of the Pale Blue Dot. On July 19th, the Cassini cameras will face the sun and capture the Earth, Saturn and its rings. It will be the first time human beings have known in advance their photo will be taken from a billion miles away.

Carolyn Porco was on Nasa's Voyager 1 team that took the original Pale Blue Dot image, and now she is leading the imaging team on Cassini's Saturn mission. She wrote eloquently on the BBC on how Cassini's first image of Earth "can make one weep with joy, love, concern, an abiding sense of fellowship, and unspeakable awe".

She has initiated Cassini's upcoming July 19 Earth-imaging event, and is hoping you'll not only smile for the cameras on that day but enter the image and music competitions being held in celebration of our Pale Blue Dot.

I can't wait to head outside on July 19th (between 21:27 to 21:42 UTC (14:27 and 14:42 PDT), look up to the skies and wave for the camera. Why don't you join us?


Cassini's first Saturn/Earth image:

(caption at: )

Notice of The Day The Earth Smiled image and music competitions:

Carolyn Porco's BBC article:

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