I just sat there. All rights reserved, On February 14, 1990, the Voyager 1 spacecraft saw Earth from a distance of nearly four billion miles, capturing a view of our planet later described by scientist Carl Sagan as a âPale Blue Dot.â. In September 1977, NASA launched Voyager 1, a 722-kilogram (1,592 lb) robotic spacecraft on a mission to study the outer Solar System and eventually interstellar space. Voyager Picture Of Earth. New version: Voyager pictured Earth as "a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam" It is unquestionably one of the greatest space images ever. Carlâs idea was to mosaic the whole sky and have the whole star background of all of the planetsâbut we just didnât have enough space on the tape recorder. âIn our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.â, Hansen spoke with National Geographic about what the Pale Blue Dot meant to her then, what it means to her now, and where sheâs stashed the original photograph. And the person who was in charge of that, he told me one time that he always had to replace the picture of Earth, because people would come up and they would touch it. Your email address will not be published. 10, JPL/NASA, October 20, 1977, Voyager Mission Status Bulletin No. 30 years ago, scientist Carl Sagan asked NASAâs Voyager 1 to capture an iconic portrait of our world. The first person to see the 'Pale Blue Dot' image still has it stashed in her closet, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/02/first-person-see-pale-blue-dot.html. At the time these images were taken, Voyager 1 was 11.66 million kilometers away from the Earth directly above Mt. We got all these other planets, and our whole idea was to capture the Earth! Voyager 1 took this color image on September 18, 1977 from a range of 11.66 million kilometers which was subsequently released to the public on January 10, 1978. The image, which shows Parth of the Earth and a part of the moon in the same frame, was shot from a distance of nearly 7.25 million miles. One of the sequence designers and I sat down and looked at what we could do. Diagram of the major components and instruments of the Voyager spacecraft. This resulted in 3.2° and 0.42° fields of view for these cameras – the equivalent of using 400 mm and 3,200 mm lenses on an old style 35 mm format camera. And neither is the moon. Isnât that cool? Click on image to enlarge. Each Voyager carried a wide and a narrow angle camera which employed 200 mm and 1,500 mm focal length lenses, respectively, to focus images on an 11 mm square vidicon plate. And when I got to the picture that should have had the Earth in it, I didnât see it at first. My website is dedicated to the presentation and discussion of my past and current professional work. Click on image to enlarge. Surely the greatest of these were NASA’s Voyager missions which returned spectacular images of the outer planets and their satellites over the course of a decade starting in 1979. Each camera had its own eight-position filter wheel which included orange, green and blue filters that could be combined to create near true color images. So I thought, OK, let me get the other two filters. Each Voyager spacecraft carried a pair of vidicon-based slow scan television cameras attached on a pointable Science Scan Platform mounted on the end of one of the booms extending from the spacecraft’s bus. So I had been involved in planning the observation as well as ultimately looking at the pictures. So Iâm sitting there thinking, What are we going to do? On September 18, Voyager 1 was instructed to acquire optical navigation images including a sequence of 54 images in the direction of the Earth – a trio of narrow-angle images each taken through different color filters for 18 different aiming positions. On September 11 and 13, Voyager 1 made a pair of trajectory correction maneuvers to fine tune its trajectory and eliminate the minor errors remaining from launch. From its perch nearly four billion miles away, the spacecraft had one last chance to snap a photo of its home planet. I knew that. My areas of interest include remote sensing, spaceflight, astronomy and astrobiology. Voyager 1 was launched from LC-41 at Cape Canaveral on September 5, 1977 some 16 days after its slower moving twin, Voyager 2 (the spacecraft numbering was reversed from their launch order to avoid confusion later as the faster moving Voyager 1 reached Jupiter and Saturn first).
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