Nasa reveals surreal photo of Earth from 4BILLION miles away snapped 30 years ago today

THE famous “Pale Blue Dot” image of Earth taken from four billion miles away has been remastered and released by Nasa for the snap’s 30th anniversary.

To the untrained eye the image may not look like much but that one pale blue pixel you’re looking at is Earth in the vastness of space.

 The tiny pale blue dot you see here is Earth

3

The tiny pale blue dot you see here is EarthCredit: Voyager Project / NASA / JPL-Caltech

The Pale Blue Dot was one of the final pictures ever taken by Nasa’s Voyager probe before its cameras were shut down forever to conserve power.

Voyager had already completed its tour of the planets and was set to head into interstellar space.

However, two imaging scientists working on the mission, Carl Sagan and Carolyn Porco, thought it should take a final photo of the Solar System.

Lots of the other planets didn’t turn out as well in the 60 final frames but something about Earth’s pale blue light has captured the imaginations of space fans for decades.

 The image is now 30 years old

3

The image is now 30 years old

In his 1994 book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space Sagan wrote: “Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us.”

He also noted how Earth was majestically suspended in a sunbeam.

Nasa released the image for Valentines day and wrote: “On Valentine’s Day in 1990, cruising four billion miles from the Sun, the Voyager 1 spacecraft looked back one last time to make the first ever Solar System family portrait.

“The portrait consists of the Sun and six planets in a 60 frame mosaic made from a vantage point 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane.

“Planet Earth was captured within a single pixel in this single frame. It’s the pale blue dot within the sunbeam just right of center in this reprocessed version of the now famous view from Voyager.

“Astronomer Carl Sagan originated the idea of using Voyager’s camera to look back toward home from a distant perspective.

“Thirty years later, on this Valentine’s day, look again at the pale blue dot.”

 This newer version of the scene was take by the Cassini probe in 2013, with Saturn in the foreground

3

This newer version of the scene was take by the Cassini probe in 2013, with Saturn in the foregroundCredit: NASA /JPL-CALTECH/ SSI

Nasa’s deep space probes

Going where no machine has gone before…

  • Juno
  • Launched: 5 August 2011
  • Mission: Study Jupiter from its orbit
  • Distance from Earth: 365million miles
  • New Horizons
    • Launched: 19 January 2006
    • Mission: Study Pluto. Now sent to outer Solar System
    • Distance from Earth: 4.1billion miles
    • Voyager 1
    • Launched: 5 September 1977
    • Mission: Study Jupiter and Saturn. Now sent to outer Solar System
    • Distance from Earth: 13billion miles
    • Voyager 2
    • Launched: 20 August 1977
    • Mission: Study the gas giants. Now sent to outer Solar System
    • Distance from Earth: 13billion miles
    Solar Orbiter lifts off to take closest-ever pictures of the Sun as part of international collaboration with NASA

    In other space news, a space rock shaped like a snowman that formed 4.6billion years ago may have sparked life on Earth.

    A lost planet in our Solar System was gobbled up by Jupiter billions of years ago.

    And, here are five times the world was supposed to end… but didn’t.

    What do you think of the famous Earth photo? Let us know in the comments…


    We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at tech@the-sun.co.uk


    Leave a Reply