On February 1, 1990, the Voyager-1 spacecraft was ordered to turn to take a legendary photo of our planet. Exactly 30 years ago, on February 14, 1990, the world saw a light blue dot floating in the sun's rays. The Voyager-1 probe camera has created a series of 60 images with which the first “family portrait” of our solar system was created. Today, NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have released an improved version of the "Pale Blue Dot" using modern software and image processing methods. This was announced on NASA's official website by agency officials.
Last look at our planet
The robot vehicles Voyager-1 and Voyager-2 were launched from Cape Canaveral in 1977. Voyager's original mission was to investigate the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn. However, both devices have been dissecting space for 42 years. Read more about what has happened to Voyagers over four decades in our special material. Today, both spaceships are four times farther from Earth than on February 1, 1990. When Voyager 1 was ordered to turn to take pictures of Earth, NASA experts knew that the two devices would be no closer to other objects , Immediately after the images were taken, instruments and other systems on both probes gradually shut down. Thanks to these processes, the devices remain operational until now.
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The work to improve the quality of the original image was carried out under the supervision of specialists – the planetary scientist Candy Hansen and the engineer William Cosmann. Both specialists helped with the processing of the original image. As a result, the color of the photo has changed significantly. According to The Universe Today, we were able to eliminate false colors by using special software, Photoshop and Lightroom. However, the main goals of Pale Blue Dot processing were to reduce the grain size and scale. In the new version of the image, the Earth only occupies 0.12 pixels.
When the Voyager 1 probe took this amazing shot, it was outside of Neptune at a distance of 6 billion kilometers from the sun. The astronomer Carl Sagan wrote the following about this image in his book of the same name:
"Look at this point again. It is here. This is our home. This is us. Everyone you love, everyone you know, everything you've ever heard of, people who ever existed, lived their lives from it. Many of our joys and sorrows, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic teachings, every hunter and gatherer, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every couple in love, every mother and every father, every capable child , Inventor and traveler, every ethics teacher, every lying politician, every "superstar", every "greatest leader", every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived here – in one place in the sunshine … Our d olg – be friendlier to each other , preserve and appreciate the light blue dot – our only home. "
Which version of the picture do you like more – before or after processing? Share your impressions in the comments and with the participants in our telegram chat.