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Reaching out in outer space

NASA's Cassini spacecraft obtained this unprocessed image on Dec. 12, 2011. The camera was pointing toward Saturn's moon Dione from approximately 76,344 miles (122,864 kilometers) away.

The reality of space. Real objects. Real textures. Thousands of miles away, images brought back to Earth. To our computer screens.

I love the caption for this photo.

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft obtained this unprocessed image on Dec. 12, 2011. The camera was pointing toward Saturn’s moon Dione from approximately 76,344 miles (122,864 kilometers) away.

A real camera on Earth pointed exactly at the right spot in the sky, captures this moon. 76,344 miles away. Does that number sound big or small? Seeing this image, the number seems small. The image gives us the possibility of reaching out and touching this moon. Actually, we already have–with our cameras.

UPDATE January 25, 2018:
The moon Dione looks like you can reach out, grab it, and stick it in your pocket. Just how big is Dione? This Saturn moon’s diameter is 697.7 miles. Ok, how long is 697.7 miles? Let’s compare it against a map of USA.
Size of Dione (Saturn moon) against a map of USA
The diameter of Dione is the distance from Minneapolis to Lexington. Also the same distance from Des Moines to Cleveland.

I live in Chicago what would the distances be to cities from here?

  • Chicago to NYC.
  • Chicago to Oklahoma City.
  • Chicago to Bismarck, Montana.

Ok, Dione is a pretty fair size.

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