Saturn will be making a unique appearance on July 19 for the Cassini Solstice Mission giving it the opportunity to compose a special portrait of the planet. The whole system will be backlit by the sun, giving scientists a chance to view the rings of the planet better than ever.
2006 was the last time Saturn blocked the sun providing such visibility. Scientists are especially excited about the rare event for the chance to compare the gap in the rings to the last time it was photographed. With a better understanding of how much, specifically, the E-ring has changed since 2006, scientists will learn more about the forces at work in the Saturn system.
While NASA takes advantage of Saturn’s position for a photo mosaic, Earth will be in the shot – albeit, no more than a pixel, but why not give it a wave?
View images of Saturn on Corbis.