Residents invited to NASA photo shoot

Become a ‘star’ in your own backyard

Become a ‘star’ in your own backyard

NASA and the Cattlepoint Urban Star Park in Oak Bay are inviting Greater Victoria residents to “wave at Saturn” today (July 19) at 2:15 p.m.

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is currently exploring Saturn and is composing a multi-image portrait of the planet.

On Friday, Cassini will be photographing a sector of Saturn’s rings where the Earth will be in the background as a small blue dot.

“While Earth will be only about a pixel in size from Cassini’s vantage point (1.44 billion kilometers) away, the team is looking forward to giving the world a chance to see what their home looks like from Saturn,” Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif, said in a release.

Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen along with council, and others from across Victoria will help to wave at the planet from the newly recognized urban star park, regarded an unusually dark urban setting and ideal for amateur astronomers.

“We think Cassini’s July image is a special opportunity for Earthlings to wave at our photographer in the Saturn system and learn more about my favorite planet, its rings and moons,” says park volunteer Bill Smith. “We hope you’ll go outside, look in the direction of Saturn and send us pictures of yourselves waving.”

Pictures can be shared by joining the Flickr group “Wave at Saturn,” adding them to the Wave at Saturn Facebook event page, or tagging pictures on Twitter through #waveatsaturn.

The Cassini “portrait session” of Earth will last about 15 minutes from 2:27 p.m. to 2:42 p.m.

Learn more about the global event at saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/waveatsaturn. Check out the park’s new website at: cattlepointstarpark.org.

news@mondaymag.com