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The pale blue dot

11 October, 2009

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Earth, as seen from near Jupiter, by Explorer 1, an image taken, at Carl Sagan’s suggestion, on February 14, 1990

Since then it has moved on. Voyager 1 is the farthest man-made object from Earth —currently over 10 BILLION miles — this however only equals .0017 lightyears.

Take everything you know, and place it on a large grain of sand, 2 mm across. That’s Earth. The Sun is about the size of a soccer ball, suspended half a football field away. Between the Earth and the Sun is absolutely nothing, completely empty space, except, perhaps, two more grains of sand and a few large pieces of dust.

The Voyager 1 probe is over 5 kilometers away. It has not yet reached the boundary of our solar system, as defined by the heliopause

If Voyager 1 were traveling in the direction of the nearest star, it would arrive in about 75,000 years. It was launched from Earth in 1977.

See also ” The pale blue dot“, a video with more photos and a commentary by Carl Sagan

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