Feb 18, 2020 - Science

The 30-year anniversary of the Pale Blue Dot

Big blue dot photo from NASA
Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Thirty years ago, a probe headed for distant space turned around and took a final photo of Earth.

Context: Known as the "Pale Blue Dot," the image has lived on, and last week NASA released a newly processed version of it that shows our world and everyone on it as a bright pixel nestled in a sunbeam.

Driving the news: On Tuesday, Voyager 1, which took this photo on Feb. 14, 1990, is flying through interstellar space. While its cameras are turned off to conserve power, the probe is still able to send back data from 13.8 billion miles away.

"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives."
ā€” Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, in their book, "Pale Blue Dot"

Go deeper: SpaceX inks deal to fly space tourists to orbit

Go deeper