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Astounding Photos of the Outer Solar System Taken by NASA’s Voyager 1

saturn

Full-disk Color Image of Crescent Saturn with Rings and Ring Shadows

Not too long ago, an unnamed Voyager 1 team member remarked on Reddit AMA that all cameras on the probe were switched off permanently after the iconic “Pale Blue Dot” image was taken on February 14 way back in 1990. You can just imagine the countless images that have been captured by the craft on its journey to Interstellar Space. These are just a few of those images taken from Voyager 1 in that period. The craft just recently left our solar system.

jupiter red spot

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

jupiter system

Jupiter and its four planet-size moons, called the Galilean satellites

Voyager 1 is a 1,592 lbs space probe launched by NASA to learn more about the outer Solar System. In space for 36 years already, the spacecraft communicates with the Deep Space Network to be given routine commands as well as return data. It is the farthest manmade object from Earth.

artist concept solar system interstellar

Artist’s puts solar system distances in perspective

earth solar system

Solar System Portrait – Earth from approximately 4 billion miles away

The technology on Voyager 1 is very crude by today’s standards, and all of the photographs were taken with analog film cameras and then scanned. The colors were created by a combination of channel blending and digital manipulation.

Saturn System Montage

Saturn System Montage

rhea moon of saturn

Rhea, satellite of Saturn; area shown is one of the most heavily cratered

In September, 2013, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab confirmed that Voyager 1 entered interstellar space on August 25, 2012. This milestone made the probe the first man-made object to penetrate this region. NASA estimates that the craft will have sufficient power to carry on regular operations until the year 2025. After that happens, Voyager 1 will just drift throughout our universe indefinitely.

voyager tour

Voyager Tour Montage

saturn's rings

Saturn’s ring system

Voyager 1’s primary mission, however, ended on November 20, 1980, after coming across the Jovian system in 1979 in addition to the Saturnian system in 1980. It was the initial probe to supply detailed images of both planets and their moons. The Voyager program was designed to find and learn about the regions and boundaries of the outer heliosphere, and lastly, to start exploring the interstellar medium.

io jupiter moon

Volcanic Activity on Io (Jupiter’s moon)

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Patricia Ramos the author

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.

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