July 18, 2013 11:24 am
Updated: July 18, 2013 11:31 am

Get ready to wave at Saturn

This enhanced-colour panorama of Saturn and its vast ring system is comprised of 165 images taken over three hours on September 15, 2006. On the left of the brightest ring, at roughly the 10 o'clock position, is the pale dot of Earth.

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
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TORONTO – At 5:27 p.m. EST on Friday, walk outside, look up and smile. You’re on camera.

That’s when an extremely long-distance photo of you will be taken — from 1.44 billion km away.

Cassini — the probe that has been orbiting Saturn since 2004 — will turn its camera toward Earth for 15 minutes and image both Saturn and Earth in one, natural-colour shot. The best part is that, for Canadians, we’ll be facing the camera head-on.

And it’s during that time that the operators of the Cassini probe want everyone on Earth to turn and wave.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is hoping to make it a worldwide event (at least for those facing the camera), asking people to photograph themselves waving at Saturn and tagging the photo with #waveatsaturn.

The simulated view of Earth from Saturn on July 19, 2013.

CICLOPS (Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations)

This won’t be the first time Cassini has imaged Earth. It twice imaged our planet, once in 2006 and then again in 2012. However, Friday will be the first time that the spacecraft has imaged Saturn and our planet together in natural colour.

The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft was launched on October 15, 1997, and arrived at Saturn in 2004. Its mission has been extended twice. The current mission called Solstice, comes to an end in 2017.

© 2013 Shaw Media

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