For all our astrophotographer friends out there: If you haven’t heard about the Saturn Mosaic Project, you’ll want to take note of this. In cooperation with Astronomers Without Borders, the special project for the recent Cassini image of planet Earth, called The Day The Earth Smiled (TDTES) is sponsoring a Saturn Mosaic project, where you can submit an image you’ve taken of Saturn. Those received will be compiled into a mosaic that will look like image that Cassini took on July 19, showing Earth just below Saturn’s rings (see below). But when you zoom in you’ll see all the pictures from Earth that the mosaic is made of.
I received a note from AWB President Mike Simmons saying they need more submissions, and the deadline for submitting a photo has been extended to July 29, 2013.
“I know a lot more people will want to be a part of this if they know about it,” Mike said via email. “It’s something to tide everyone over and keep the buzz going while we wait for the final mosaic from Cassini.”
But you don’t have to be a seasoned astrophotographer to take part in the Saturn Mosaic. The image you submit doesn’t have to be one taken with a large telescope – just take a picture of Saturn as a “star” in the sky with an ordinary camera, capturing your surroundings as well. Or it could be an image you took earlier this year.
“There are other kinds of photos that anyone can submit that don’t even requiring imaging the sky,” Simmons added. “We didn’t want to limit this to only those with the ability and weather to image Saturn itself. Photos of outreach events or people waving at Saturn from JPL’s Wave at Saturn are good, too. Or just a portrait taken with the Lord of the Rings — a live view projected from a telescope or even a photo. Like a couple getting married at the time Cassini was taking their photo (and everyone else’s) posed with Saturn. I took the easy way and took a shot of me and Saturn in my office.”
These can be taken any time, so people can still take a shot and get into the mosaic (the image does need to have been taken in 2013, however.)
“It’s all about sharing and commemorating the excitement of the moment when the photo was taken, and the anticipation of the release of Cassini’s historic photos,” Simmons said. “Like all Astronomers Without Borders project, it’s open to everyone on Earth. And beyond.”
For a slide show of some of the great shots people have submitted so far, visit the Saturn Mosaic Project page to see things like Saturn with a T-Rex, outreach in Iran, kids drawings of Saturn in Ghana, and more.
Simmons said The World at Night will create the final mosaic, which is expected to be online and ready to view and zoom in on by August 4 or earlier.
So take your best shot and be a part of the mosaic! Find out more on the Astronomers Without Borders website.