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20 years ago today

4545 days after launch, on 14th February 1990, at a distance of six billion kilometres from Earth, the Voyager 1 probe turned its camera on the solar system for a “family portrait“.

One of the 60 individual photographs taken became one of the most famous space photographs of all time – the “Pale Blue Dot“. Midway down the brown stripe (caused by light reflecting inside the camera) you can just make out a bright spot – Earth.

Carl Sagan said of the image:

“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.”

Voyager 1 is the farthest man-made object from Earth; currently it’s about 16.9 billion kilometres from Earth, 15.7 light hours away.