What the Earth looks like at a distance of 6 billion km
28 years ago, the space probe Voyager 1, approaching the boundaries of the solar system, photographed our planet. On the resulting image, the Earth appears as a tiny light point of 0.12 pixels in size. It can be found on the right side of the frame, in an orange strip (the colored bars in the picture are interference caused by the sun’s rays).
Background to the snapshot
Voyager 1 was launched in 1977. His task was to collect information about Jupiter and Saturn: their composition, mass, density of the atmosphere and so on.
After the device completed the main mission, its creators from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA division) sent the probe to the far reaches of the solar system.
On February 14, 1990, being 6 billion km from his native planet, Voyager threw a “farewell glance” at her. The image transferred to them was called Pale Blue Dot (English Pale Blue dot). The idea to photograph the Earth from such an angle was suggested by astrophysicist Carl Sagan.
“Look again at this point. It’s here. This is our house. This is us. Everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you’ve ever heard of, all the people that ever existed lived their lives on it – in a mote suspended in the sunlight, “Carl Sagan wrote.
On that day, the probe also captured other planets of our star system: Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. A series of 60 pictures was called “Family Portrait”.
In August 2012, Voyager 1 became the first man-made object to leave the solar system. Now the probe is located 20 billion km from the Earth and is directed to the constellation of the Giraffe. On its board is a message to alien civilizations: a gold-plated phonograph record with the sounds of our planet, on the back of which the coordinates of the Earth are indicated. In the development of the tablet took part all the same Carl Sagan. Listen to the recordings from this record here.