This is what our planet looks like from six billion kilometers away

This is what our planet looks like from six billion kilometers away

On February 14, 1990, the Voyager 1 spacecraft took a photo of Earth. It’s an iconic image of a tiny dot.

Voyager 1 It was launched on September 5, 1977 and arrived at Jupiter a year and a half later. In 1980, the spacecraft flew by the planet Saturn. Ten years ago, Voyager 1 took the first photos outside the solar system, a family photo that also appears beyond Earth. Or, well, show off… The Earth looks like a tiny dot six billion years away and only a pixel in size. Therefore, the seas and continents are not recognizable in this image. We have merged into a “pale blue spot,” as the image is (rightly) called.

The photo is world famous because it shows how small the Earth is. Meanwhile, the universe is extremely vast. Six billion kilometers sounds far, but it’s nothing in our Milky Way Galaxy – and certainly in the universe. In 1994, Carl Sagan published a book called “The Pale Blue Dot,” in which he wrote: “Look at that dot again. This is here. This is home. This is us. On it, everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you’ve heard About him, every human being who ever existed, lived his life. (..) To me, this underscores our responsibility to treat each other with greater kindness and to preserve and cherish the light blue dot, the only home we have ever known.

After these images were taken, Voyager 1’s camera was permanently turned off. In 2012, the spacecraft became the first space probe to reach interstellar space. This makes Voyager 1 the first man-made object outside the solar system. Voyager 1’s speed is 61,198 kilometers per hour, about one twenty-thousandth the speed of light. Therefore, in 20 thousand years, Voyager 1 will be about one light-year away from us. The spacecraft is traveling at high speed towards the constellation Serpent Bearer. In about half a million years Stars GJ 678 and GJ 686 have been visited About thirty light-years from Earth.

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Now you’re probably wondering: when will the next “Pale Blue Dot” record be released? As previously noted, Voyager 1’s camera is no longer working, so we have to wait for the next space probe to look at Earth. Maybe New Horizons? Camera At least strong enough.

In recent decades, space telescopes and satellites have captured beautiful images of nebulae, galaxies, stellar nurseries, and planets. Every weekend, we take one or more amazing space images from the archives. Enjoy all the pictures? See them on this page.

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