Voyager 1's Journey Through our Solar System in Photographs

Voyager 1's Journey Through our Solar System in Photographs

In a recent Reddit AMA to commemorate the craft's leaving of our solar system, a Voyager 1 team member (name unverified) commented that all cameras were turned off permanently after the iconic "Pale Blue Dot" photograph was taken on Valentines day in 1990. Between then, and its launch date on Sept 5, 1977, hundreds of thousands if not millions (exact number unknown) of photos have been taken by the craft on its journey. These are just a few.

Click an image to view it's NASA JPL info page.

voyagermoonearth_fstoppers-sept142013Sept 18, 1977 - 7.25 million miles from Earth, Voyager 1 captures our planet and it's moon cut in half by the light of the sun.

Fstoppers_Voyager-BlueMovie-JupiterJan 6 to Feb 3, 1979 - Voyager's 60 day approach of Jupiter, titled "Blue Movie" due to the blue filter it was shot through.

converted PNM fileFeb 13, 1979 - Jupiter and two of its satellites (moons), Io (left) and Europa (right).

converted PNM fileDate Unknown - Jupiter's "Great Red Spot" (top right)

converted PNM fileDate Unknown - Volcanic surface flows on Io

converted PNM fileMarch 4, 1979 (?) - Explosion on the surface of Io

converted PNM fileNov 5, 1980 - Northern hemisphere of Saturn from 5.5 million miles away.

converted PNM fileNov 12, 1980 - Saturn's moon, Rhea's surface from 79,500 miles away, heavily cratered due to an estimated life of 4.5 billion years.

converted PNM fileNov 16, 1980 - Saturn and it's rings, shown as a crescent due to light and camera angles.

Fstoppers_Voyager-EarthFeb 14, 1990 - Earth from 4 billion miles away.


About the Voyager 1

The Voyager 1 is part of the two unmanned-craft  "Voyager Program" (alongside Voyager 2), which was created by NASA and sent into the cosmos in 1977 to perform tests and gain knowledge about our solar system, specifically the composition of planets and their moons. The technology aboard both of these crafts is very simplistic by today's standards, and all of the above photographs were taken by analog film cameras and scanned, the colors created by a mix of channel blending, and digital recreation. In September, 2013, NASA's JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab) confirmed that Voyager 1 entered interstellar space on August 25, 2012, making it the first man-made object to access this region. NASA estimates that both Voyager crafts have enough power to continue regular operations until 2025, when they will power down and drift throughout our universe indefinitely.

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correction: the moon of Jupiter is "Io" (pron: eye-oh), not "Lo"

Noam Galai's picture

Just now for the first time I thought about the fact it's shooting film.... insane. how the hell it works?

I have always wondered how the heck they go the images.

Exactly! Especially it was 1977! First Digital Camera?

I remember the truck that came to my town to pick up rolls of film and then delivered negs and prints two days later....imagine how long it took to get them back from Saturn! LOL!

Actually, this is not true. The Voyager used a TV camera, calibrated against radio interference (a sort of "noise reduction", if you will), and sent these images back to earth in a radio signal. "Scanning" actually refers to the line scans of a TV feed :)

Noam Galai's picture

Interesting! thanks for the info

The second to last is... troubling. The smoothness, calmness... very unsetteling to think we are nothing in this vast space...

Thanks for the post!

Just imagine the kinda shots they could get if they sent out another craft with a hasselblad or a Red Epic onboard :) lets get to funding NASA again!