A small Czech town of Neratovice sent a greeting to NASA’s Cassini probe as it was taking photos of the planet Earth.

A group of Neratovice citizens lit some 300 candles to celebrate achievements of science. At 10pm CET (9pm GMT) they gathered on the town’s square to create a candle-light writing „Hello Cassini“ between 10:27 and 10:42 pm CET when the spacecraft, currently near Saturn, was taking pictures of our home planet.

The organizers around a local blog called Neratoviny had decided to take part in this interplanetary photo session in their own way.

The inspiration came from the words of Carolyn Porco, who leads the imaging team on Nasa’s Cassini mission to Saturn. „People will know in advance that they are being photographed from the outer Solar System. They could wave,“ she said to BBC. And wave they did.

„Just in case the Cassini probe’s cameras missed us Jiri Pechacek, a local photographer, took pictures of our greetings to Cassini and we will e-mail one to Nasa,“ said one of the organisers jokingly. „We had great fun. It was our way of thanking all those great scientists who push limits of human knowledge ever further.“

Neratovice, population of about 17,000, is a town in Central Bohemia just outside Czech capital of Prague. It is one of the newest towns in the country built in the 1960s and 1970s as its chemical industry developed. The square which the greeting to Cassini was sent from is quite special – a railway goes right through its middle.