The Day The Earth Smiled


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.

July 12, 2013 Update

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As you already know, in only a week's time, our cameras on Cassini will be turning Earthward to take images of us and our planet alongside Saturn and its rings.  I have been encouraging everyone to take advantage of this special event and, at the appropriate time on July 19, gather outside with friends and family, acknowledge the interplanetary salute between robot and maker that this opportunity represents, and consider the uniqueness of our planet and the life on it.  They are all reasons for celebration, and I certainly hope you all do just that … celebrate!

This event has received considerable attention so far ….

   .  from the TED folks:

   . from Richard Branson:

   . from Robert Krulwich of NPR:

…. and other media outlets.   We're hoping it spreads around the world.

But I also want to remind you of two contests that Diamond Sky Productions, LLC is running in association with the July 19 event.

We will be choosing the best original contributions submitted by members of the pubic — an image in one case and a musical composition in another —  to a Message to the Milky Way that will be beamed in about a year from the most powerful radio telescope on Earth, the Areceibo dish in Puerto Rico, in a long-distance call to our fellow galactic citizens.

I hope you can help spread the word far and wide, in any way you can … email, Twitter, FaceBook, whatever … that these contests are a serious, exciting, and meaningful way to participate in the event, that the winning submissions will be beamed to the galaxy, and that the first contest begins next Friday when the image representative of Planet Earth must be taken.

For more information such as contest rules and submission requirements, and to check out the impressive list of individuals advising this Project, you can start at …

… and read on.

For the times on July 19 when the Earth images will be acquired and instructions on how to convert to your local time, check out this page:

And come next Friday, don't forget to smile.


Article from Diamond Sky Productions

Cassini to Provide Breathtaking Image of Earth from Saturn

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.

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.

And if you are a photography buff or a musical composer and love a challenge, consider entering one of our two contests held in association with Cassini's imaging of Earth on July 19. The winning entries will be included in a digitally encoded message that will be broadcast into the galaxy from the most powerful radio telescope on Earth on the anniversary of The Day The Earth Smiled.

Go to Message To The Milky Way to find out more.

Best to all of you!

Carolyn Porco

CEO/President, Diamond Sky Productions, LLC
Founder, The Day The Earth Smiled
Boulder, CO

. . Details concerning the July 19 Earth imaging photo session, such as the times during which the Earth will be imaged from Cassini, which part of the Earth will be in Sunlight and which part will be facing Cassini, and how to convert to your local time can be found on the CICLOPS website.. . 

Written By: Carolyn Porco
continue to source article at


  1. Very cool stuff. As a composer, I’m biting at the bit to enter the music competition. What an honor it would be to have my music about the stars be beamed among them.

  2. I’ll look up, smile and keep very still for the whole 15 minutes, so as to not blur the image…. 😎

  3. From the geometry of the thing its going to be Europeans and Asians who can “see the camera” isn’t it? And it’ll be after sunset and into the evening and night as you go east. I propose the mass use of laser pointers to wave hello. Any Evil super-villains with laser weapons could join in too.

  4. My message to aliens would be ‘Nothing to see here. Not worth the trouble of coming, but if you do then leave your virus protect software at home because we’ve got Jeff Goldblum and we’re not afraid to use him.’ Or perhaps I should get out of my bunker with tin foul on my head more often.
    From a musical perspective in my view nothing is more suitable than Dum Dee Dum Daah DAAAAAH from Close Encounters but best avoid Dah Dah Dah Dah-Dee-DAAAAH from Star Wars.
    Still exciting stuff though.


    In reply to #6 by headswapboy:

    My message to aliens would be ‘Nothing to see here. Not worth the trouble of coming, but if you do then leave your virus protect software at home because we’ve got Jeff Goldblum and we’re not afraid to use him.’ Or perhaps I should get out of my bunker with tin foul on my head more often.
    From a mus…

  6. Talk about having the feeling that someone is watching you! It’s not paranoia if its true…

  7. Splendid! Religionists,match that if you can.One little prayer should do it,no?

  8. most of you will not survive Armageddon!topic/alt.prophecies.nostradamus/Czf7l8637ow

  9. Saturn should be straight outside my window at zero hour, and I’ll be smiling out like an idiot. But it is a typically magnificent idea of Carolyn.

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