On September 18, 1977, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft captured the first image of Earth and the moon from a distance more than 7 million miles away from Earth. The entire world celebrated this milestone as it remains the first real image of Earth moon system captured in a single frame. The Interstellar explorer captured this image two weeks after it was launched to study the outer planets.
After taking this historic image, Voyager 1 flew past the asteroid belt region to visit the gas giants including Jupiter and Saturn. During this visit, the spacecraft captured detailed images of the planets before traveling out of the solar system. After exploring the gas giants, NASA never intended to capture another image with the Voyager 1.
However, Carl Sagan convinced NASA to use its Voyager 1 and capture our home planet from a distance for the last time. Hence, on February 14, 1990, NASA turned the cameras of the Voyager 1 spacecraft to capture a family portrait of the entire planets in the solar system. This popular portrait reveals the image of Earth as a tiny dot in the ray of sunshine. Hence, the agency named it the “Pale Blue Dot.”
Where Is Voyager 1 Spacecraft Now after leaving Earth moon system?
Voyager 1 spacecraft is currently exploring the constellation of Ophiuchus, which is more than 14.8 billion miles (23.8 billion kilometers) away from Earth. At this great distance, the spacecraft retains the record of the most traveled manmade object. On August 25, 2012, Voyager 1 spacecraft traveled beyond the heliopause and entered interstellar space.
This historic breakthrough made the spacecraft to become the first human-made object to enter interstellar space. At that time, the spacecraft was traveling at about 11 billion miles (18 billion kilometers) from the sun. However, as of today, the spacecraft has been traveling for about 45 years and 11 months. It is traveling at about 38,000 mph and hoping to reach a new distance in a few years to come.
On September 18, 1977, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft took the first image of Earth moon system. The spacecraft is currently traveling at 38,000 mph and will actually set newer records shortly. Here are some books that will tell you more about Voyager 1 spacecraft and Interstellar space.