ASTC’s interesting fact of the week.

We think of the selfie as a relatively new conception with the growth of the smartphone era …… well it’s not! The scientists, engineers and explorers of the Voyager mission took the best ever selfie in 1990 – a long time before camera phones, never mind the smartphone.

The Voyager probes were two satellites launched by NASA in 1977, their mission was to take advantage of a favourable alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune and they are now exploring the outer boundary of the heliosphere

Having completed its mission of the planets of the solar system, Voyager, in 1990, turned its camera back towards the sun, from a distance of 6 billion kilometres, and took the portrait (selfie) of the solar system.

The first ever selfie

Carl Sagan not a poet, artist, or philosopher but an ENGINEER wrote this of our finest selfie ever….

Here we are!“From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again 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. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”

Kind of makes you feel both big and small at the same time. The endeavours of mankind have achieved so much in terms of science to take this picture but there is still so much to be achieved.

Image Caption

Top: The solar system selfie

Bottom right: If you look closely enough you can see us, a little dot!


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