The cameras on NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured this rare look at Earth and its moon from Saturn orbit on July 19, 2013. Taken while performing a large wide-angle mosaic of the entire Saturn ring system, narrow-angle camera images were deliberately inserted into the sequence in order to image Earth and its moon. This is the second time that Cassini has imaged Earth from within Saturn’s shadow, and only the third time ever that our planet has been imaged from the outer solar system.
Earth is the blue point of light on the left; the moon is fainter, white, and on the right. Both are seen here through the faint, diffuse E ring of Saturn. Earth was brighter than the estimated brightness used to calculate the narrow-angle camera exposure times. Hence, information derived from the wide-angle camera images was used to process this color composite.
Both Earth and the moon have been increased in brightness for easy visibility; in addition, brightness of the Moon has been increased relative to the Earth, and the brightness of the E ring has been increased as well.
The first image of Earth captured from the outer solar system was taken by NASA’s Voyager 1 in 1990 and famously titled “Pale Blue Dot”. Sixteen years later, in 2006, Cassini imaged the Earth in the stunning and unique mosaic of Saturn called “In Saturn’s Shadow-The Pale Blue Dot”. And, seven years further along, Cassini did it again in a coordinated event that became the first time that Earth’s inhabitants knew in advance that they were being imaged from nearly a billion miles (nearly 1.5 billion kilometers) away. It was the also the first time that Cassini’s highest-resolution camera was employed so that Earth and its moon could be captured as two distinct targets.
The Real Cost of The War In Gaza: An Unadulterated Look At Palestine’s Grief
His face is twisted with anguish, his hands grab at his shirt near his heart; there is no sound, but the pained cry escaping his mouth can almost be heard.
This is a photograph of the father of one of the four young boys who was killed by an Israeli strike in Gaza Wednesday. The boys, all cousins and all under the age of 12, had been playing soccer on the beach when the attack occurred. The man’s picture, by photographer Hosam Salem, was taken during the boys’ funeral.
In the aftermath of the four boys’ deaths, both Israel and Hamas ceased fighting for five hours Thursday for a humanitarian truce requested by the United Nations, Reuters reports. The brief cease-fire, however, has since come to an end, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Thursday that his country’s military has launched a ground offensive in Gaza.
More than 160 civilians, including more than 40 children, have been killed in Gaza since July 7, when Israel launched its anti-Hamas military operation. “According to preliminary information, 77 [percent] of Palestinian fatalities so far have been civilians, raising concerns about respect for international humanitarian law,” the UN wrote in a July 16 report.
The Israeli military has reportedly launched an investigation into the strike that killed the four cousins. They say the strike had been intended for Hamas militants and called the children’s deaths a “tragic outcome,” per ABC News.
Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch called for the Israeli military to “end unlawful attacks that do not target military objectives and may be intended as collective punishment or broadly to destroy civilian property.”
“Deliberate or reckless attacks violating the laws of war are war crimes,” the organization wrote on its website, adding that “Palestinian armed groups also should end indiscriminate rocket attacks launched toward Israeli population centers.”
Tyler Hicks, a New York Times photojournalist who was in a nearby hotel when the Gaza beach strike occurred and photographed the boys’ bodies as they were carried away, wrote in an essay Thursday that “there is no safe place in Gaza right now.”
“Bombs can land at any time, anywhere,” he wrote. “A small metal shack with no electricity or running water on a jetty in the blazing seaside sun does not seem like the kind of place frequented by Hamas militants, the Israel Defense Forces’ intended targets. Children, maybe four feet tall, dressed in summer clothes, running from an explosion, don’t fit the description of Hamas fighters, either.”
In the hours after the four boys’ deaths, Gaza was overcome with grief and fury. According to CNN, hundreds of people attended the children’s funeral Wednesday and “angry chants filled the air.”
Below are more heart-wrenching images of the boys’ relatives, as well as photos from their funeral:
The father and mother of one of the four boys killed during Israeli shelling react outside the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, on July 16, 2014.
— Ayman Mohyeldin (@AymanM) July 16, 2014
The mother of one of the four boys, all from the Bakr family, killed during Israeli shelling, collapses outside the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, on July 16, 2014.
Palestinian mourners shout slogans during the funeral of four boys, all from the Bakr family, in Gaza City, on July 16, 2014.
— benwedeman (@bencnn) July 16, 2014
ABC World News with Diane Sawyer forced to issue an apology after showing shelled-out Gaza and claiming it was Israel, by an immediate and massive social media campaign.
BBC News forced to confront pro-Israel bias as 5,000 protesters shut down the streets surrounding its building.
Our side doesn’t have a monopoly on millions of eyeballs, but those who do should know we’re watching them too. Stand with Palestine, by any means necessary!
Burning Mountain by Florent Chevalier
"This is the 8,000-meter peak of Dhaulagiri at sunset seen from the Kali Gandaki, Nepal. It is the seventh highest summit in the world. I took this picture during a three-week trek around the Annapurnas."
You can see more of Florent’s photography on Flickr.
Image copyright Florent Chevalier and used with permission.
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