Astronomers have Already started planning for the Next Pale Blue Dot”

In 1977, the man has launched twin robotic probes in space several weeks apart. The two Voyager spacecraft cannon, far away from the Earth for a tour of our planet brothers and sisters in the solar system. During each meeting, the Travelers set records for the most beautiful pictures of these planets, humanity has ever taken, much better than anything seen through a telescope. There is Jupiter, furiously agitated by gargantuan storms. There was Saturn, and surrounded by the vinyl-like rings. There was Uranus, robin egg blue, and without relief. There is Neptune, cloud-spotted and snailed.When the planetary safari was over, Voyager 1 turned back towards Earth, in 1990, for a last photo before his camera has been closed. The resulting photograph, the “Pale Blue Dot” image at the top of this story, is to become the most distant image ever taken of the Earth.

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Travel takes place on that record for 28 years. But a year from now, it may be disposed of in the first place.Shortly after January 2019, New Horizons, the spacecraft that brought us photos of heart-shaped plot of land on Pluto, will turn to the Earth. The sensor of the camera, the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager, or LORRI for short, is going to start snapping away. Nearly three decades after the original, humanity will have another “Pale Blue Dot.”“We’ve talked about for years,” says Andy Cheng of the intention to take another “Pale Blue Dot” of the image. Cheng is a researcher at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and principal investigator of the LORRI.It is a risky move. The attempt requires pointing LORRI close enough to the sun, so that objects in darkness are illuminated, but not so close that the sun damages or destroys the camera. “But we’re going to do it anyway, for the same reason as before,” Cheng says. “It is just such a great thing to try.”The photo shoot will be a lot of coordination. “All of the activities on the machine must be choreographed in detail and then checked and checked again,” Cheng. “Taking a LORRI image involves more than LORRI—the spacecraft should point the camera in the right direction, LORRI should be used, the image data must be put in place and then accessed and transmitted to the Earth, which requires more maneuvering of the spacecraft, all that needs to happen on a spaceship nearly 4 billion miles away.”At this distance, our home in the universe look extremely small. “It’s going to be very difficult to choose this tiny point of light,” he says.The photo will come more than 70 years after the creation of the first image of the Earth as seen from space. On October 24, 1946, more than a decade before Sputnik, a V-2 missile launched from New Mexico with a camera in tow. The missile flew for only a few minutes before crashing to the bottom, but his camera has managed to capture a grainy image, black and white, view of the Earth in the blackness of space.LORRI and the other instruments on New Horizons is currently in hibernation. In December, LORRI photographed two objects in the Kuiper Belt, a region of asteroids, comets, and small rocks beyond Neptune. The resulting images, as NASA revealed last week, broke a Travel record for the farthest image ever taken from the Earth. Voyager was about 3.75 billion miles from Earth when he won the “Pale Blue Dot” of the image. New Horizons was 3.79 billion kilometres from Earth when it was photographed, the objects of the Kuiper Belt. The craft moves on more than 700,000 miles of space every day.LORRI and the other instruments of the wake this summer in preparation for an overview of MU69, a Kuiper Belt object discovered in 2014 with the Hubble space Telescope. The object is so far from Earth that even with Hubble, the eyes, the astronomers do not know if MU69 is a object or two. LORRI will solve this mystery in the next year when it sends back detailed images. After that, he will get in position to photograph the Earth and try to recreate the famous “Pale Blue Dot” shot“.Take photos and make them longer distances—it’s just humanity’s reach extend further,” Cheng said.

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