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[Slashdot] - 'Pale Blue Dot' Revisited

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cusco shares a report: For the 30th anniversary of one of the most iconic views from the Voyager mission, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is publishing a new version of the image known as the "Pale Blue Dot." The updated image uses modern image-processing software and techniques while respecting the intent of those who planned the image. Like the original, the new color view shows Planet Earth as a single, bright blue pixel in the vastness of space. Rays of sunlight scattered within the camera optics stretch across the scene, one of which happens to have intersected dramatically with Earth. The view was obtained on Feb. 14, 1990, just minutes before Voyager 1's cameras were intentionally powered off to conserve power and because the probe -- along with its sibling, Voyager 2 -- would not make close flybys of any other objects during their lifetimes. Shutting down instruments and other systems on the two Voyager spacecraft has been a gradual and ongoing process that has helped enable their longevity. This celebrated Voyager 1 view was part of a series of 60 images designed to produce what the mission called the "Family Portrait of the Solar System." This sequence of camera-pointing commands returned images of six of the solar system's planets, as well as the Sun. The Pale Blue Dot view was created using the color images Voyager took of Earth. Planetary scientist Carolyn Porco shared the story behind the idea of Pale Blue Dot picture on Neil deGrasse Tyson's video podcast "Star Talk" last year. It's fascinating -- watch from 51:05 seconds and hang around for 13 minutes. Also the famous video where Carl Sagan describes the Pale Blue Dot. An interview he did on the subject later.

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Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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