On February 14, 1990, <I>Voyager 1</I>'s cameras pointed backward and took a series of pictures of our Sun and its planets, creating the first-ever portrait of our solar system as seen from the outside. In the course of producing this sixty-frame mosaic, <I>Voyager 1</I> shot several images of the inner solar system from a distance of approximately four billion miles and about thirty-two degrees above the ecliptic plane. The wide-angle image of the Sun was taken with the camera?s darkest filter?a methane-absorbed band?and the shortest possible exposure?five-thousandths of a second?to avoid saturating the camera?s vidicon tube with scattered sunlight. The spacecraft acquired arrow-angle color images of Earth, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune as it built this wide-angle mosaic. Jupiter is larger than a narrow-angle pixel and is clearly resolved, as is Saturn with its rings. Uranus and Neptune appear larger than they actually are as a result of image smear from the spacecraft?s motion during the long, fifteen-second exposures. <I>Voyager 1</I> used violet, blue, and green filters to create these stunning images.
- Voyager 1
- Data Source
- National Air and Space Museum
- Center for Earth and Planetary Studies
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- Image ID
- Satellite transmission